BVI News

More to marine industry than just deckhand, boat captain roles — Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie

In a bid to generate greater interest in the marine industry, Premier Andrew Fahie has assured locals that there are more jobs in the marine industry besides the perceived deckhand and boat captain roles.

Speaking at the launch of the Back to the Sea Marine Training Programme at Village Cay Hotel on Wednesday, Premier Fahie listed several other well-paid alternative jobs in the industry.

He said the United States’ industry, for example, offer boat mechanics an estimated annual salary that ranges between $27,800 – $45,390.

He said maritime consultants make up to $65,372 annually while the yearly salaries for marine engineers and naval architects range from $64,000 – $96,000 and $65,009 t- $148,950, respectively.

Benefit of Programme

Premier Fahie further said having the marine training programme could result in spill-off benefits for other sectors.

“As the marine industry grows, the influx of vessels, owners, crew and other personnel will stimulate activity in other areas. These persons will have demand for food, beverages, clothing, marine supplies, long and short-term accommodation, transportation, entertainment and much more” the Premier stated, adding that the sector could become a third economic pillar for the BVI.

Premier Fahie, who is also the Minister responsible for Finance, also stressed on the importance of having qualified individuals in the sector to help grow the membership of the BVI Shipping Registry.

“One of the things that vessel owners look for when choosing a port of call or home is trained and experienced human resource support on the ground and on the water. Vessels of various sizes and classes would be attracted to the BVI if the owners know they can find a full crew here, including roles such as deckhands, engineers, stewards and chefs. There is a demand for these roles and as we step up our work in growing the marine sector, there will be even more demand,” the Premier added.


Registration for the programme commences on August 21 and prospective trainees will be required to complete a registration of interest form online. This form should indicating the programme they wish to pursue, the institution, as well as the level of assistance needed.

Applicants will also need to apply directly to the institution of there choice and meet the institution’s entry requirements.

Premier Fahie also said there will be a face-to-face registration in all electoral districts. This will be to facilitate persons unable to register online.

Two Phases of Assistance from Government

The Finance Minister also revealed that the assistance received from government will be done in two phases.

He stated: “The first phase commences immediately with the first quota of trainees beginning training in September 2019. This involves re-engaging with the H.L Stoutt Community College other training providers to support programmes in maritime education. The Government will be assisting HLSCC with the necessary resources and needs to fulfill its mandate as the regional centre for excellence for marine studies. Additionally, the government will be partnering with the stakeholders of the industry who will provide the opportunities for additional training, employment and business networking environments.”

According to the Premier, the second phase will see the government providing additional resources including scholarships from January 2020 to support trainees in the maritime industry who were accepted to go further afield to study. 

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  1. VG MAN says:

    Premier I am impressed.

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  2. YOUTH says:

    What I like about our Premier is that no matter what you say about him he keeps working for the people of the Virgin Islands and beyond.

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  3. Avalon says:

    This is a very good initiative (actually progressive), stepping in the right direction in a big way. HLSCC has the potential to set the standard in the region for Marine Industry Training.

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  4. Seriously says:

    Only one negative aspect, the new chair of the college has a conflict of interest regarding marine training!

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  5. Retired says:

    I commend the Premier for forward thinking in regard to maritime training in the BVI. However please bear in mind that the BVI trained mariners will be competing for sea going jobs with those trained in the USVI and St. Martin. Both of these island countries have been operating vocational maritime training programs since the mid 90’s after Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn devastated their marine based economies.

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  6. island man says:

    Mr. Honourable premier i saw many locals are doing rigging, electrician, mechanical stuff, office staff etc at some charter companies I never heard any of those skilled local workers complaining that they are out of a jobs. I think there is a demand for more of them though because island ppl have to fill in so now the young kids can trained to be one of those workers. We need more local chefs/hostess too for the boating industry.

  7. Liar liar says:

    The college was designated as the center for marine studies in OECS three years ago. The college has been working under the directions of the old college board and the ministry of education on this for years. This is not a new initiative Mr. premier. Stop the dishonesty and give credit where it is due.

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    • CW says:


      what have you done to help the BVI? STOP TEARING DOWN THE PEOPLE ACTUALLY HELPING

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    • Busy Bee says:

      The last administration seemed to be big on labels and titles, but failed to follow through with the dollars. The college may well have been a ‘centre for marine studies’, but that means it’s window dressing when the government provides no funds for the programme.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    I once heard Mike Rowe, opera singer and presenter of the show ‘Dirty Jobs’ lament the current western ethos of ‘Work Smart, Not Hard’, meaning a desk job has become is more aspirational goal than work done with our hands and backs.

    In order for this fine vocational programme (and those I hope will follow) to work, we have to remove the stigma from physical labour and recognize the fact that a lot of people – even geniuses- don’t have an aptitude to sit behind a desk and participate in office politics. Many of us achieve fulfillment in building or providing or creating or simply being in touch with the earth.

    Without a broad and strong vocational program and business class requirements, we are not giving our children the tools to build a solid, independent future for themselves and for the Territory.
    This is a great start from our Premier and his party.

  9. Duh says:

    Actually the BVI marine center was originally built and out fitted during Ralph’s time, however none of the government at the time continued to give it any backing and whilst this sounds wonderful and Mr Samuels previously had a company doing exactly the same education as HLSCC unless the basics are taken care of it will still fail.Also the BVI Marine Tourism industry is already a major pillar of the economy. What this will do is bring a bunch of Asians and Indians into the BVI to do their tickets cheaper than in the U.K.

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