The H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) has said it is working to become the centre stone for maritime studies in the entire region.
Speaking at the recent launch of the Back To The Sea Marine Programme this week, Premier Andrew Fahie said his government’s objective is now to offer support to the college for it to achieve that objective.
“We’ve asked them to furnish us with whatever they need to be able to get to the next level so we can make sure that they are well accounted for in the 2020 budget which we are aiming to pass in December,” the Premeir stated.
He added: “They have been working on that part so … they (HLSCC) will be coming up to par so that we can be the centre of excellence for maritime in the Caribbean and we should because we are the sailing capital in the world.”
To this end, recently-appointed Chairman of the HLSCC board John Samuel said the institution is currently working to develop programmes which will satisfy international requirements and propel candidates to higher levels in the maritime industry.
“We are also pushing the college to develop initially what would be the first year of a four year maritime academy programme that will be able to deliver in the BVI, partner with one or two of the maritime academy’s in the United States and the vision is that we will be able to at least offer two years of the four year programme and then have candidates transfer to complete the second two years.”
Meanwhile, Dean of Workforce at HLSCC Bernadine Louis said the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) had encouraged the BVI more than a decade ago to work on becoming the centre for marine studies in the Caribbean region.
She said the college has been reviewing how to achieve that mandate from the OECS in recent times.
She further said: “We have had persons from the region trained with us in STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) which is the first step, the basic step in becoming a boat captain or any other profession, because as long as you are going to be on sea that is one of the qualifications you need,” Louis stated.
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