Unite BVI has collaborated with government to donate a combined total of $300,000 to fund the newly-established Marine Training Programme at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College.
This was revealed in a government-commissioned media release which said that government had donated $200,000 to the programme while their co-sponsor Unite BVI donated $100,000.
Premier Andrew Fahie thanked the Unite BVI organisation for being part of the initiative which is aimed at ensuring HLSCC becomes the centre of marine studies in the territory.
“Since we have started with this marine programme for our young people, in this revamped manner, we have seen that Unite BVI has come on board and said ‘well alright Government, you put up some money and we will match half of what you put up’… They saw what was happening, that the college was serious. They came on board and for that, I give Unite BVI my heartfelt thanks,” Premier Fahie stated.
“The next gold mine industry around us is the sea, but we continue to let everyone else capitalise on it except for the Virgin Islanders … but the college and the BVI will crossover into being one of the greatest maritime training centres once we continue to use what we have,” he further said.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Unite BVI Dr L Sauda Smith said her organisation was happy to jump at the opportunity as it stands to further develop the BVI.
“It’s our honour and our delight to have the opportunity to assist in building intellectual and professional capacity in the territory and I’d like to thank the college for being such a brilliant partner,” Dr Smith stated.
According to the aforesaid release, three persons are already halfway through the process of completing level-one of the programme, after graduating from the first module – the Marine Professional Training I. They will resume the course when classes continue in January.
The full Marine Training Programme consists of four levels, and to gain entry into the first, students must show that they are competent in six specific areas in the marine industry.
These areas include basic navigation, basic swimming proficiency and water safety training, customer service and hospitality, sailing practical, marine technical training, and basic safety training.
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