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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