Information Officer II
Dept. of Information & Public Relations
Telephone: 468- 2740
Eleven students have received support from the Government of the Virgin Islands to begin their Level 1 Marine Professional Training at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
The training programme was officially launched in August by Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie who stated that, “the next goldmine of the Territory’s economy is the sea” and in preparation for this, it was imperative that the Government provide the necessary resources to foster the economic benefits that can be derived by the people of the BVI from the Marine Industry.
The Premier said, “I am a firm believer that everyone is born for a purpose, your attendance today, is a testament that you are willing, you have recognised and you are fully in tuned with fulfilling your purpose.”
Premier Fahie added that for many years there has been a perception that a career in the marine industry was considered lower level. He said, “The Government is on a mission to change that perception and showcase the true image of how honourable and admirable it is to make a living from the sea.” The Premier added, “Statistics will show that some of the highest paying jobs come from the sea, whether it is a Captain, a Marine Surveyor or other positions in the sea trade.”
Honourable Fahie said the objective of this initiative is to ensure that persons from each district have the opportunity to be trained in the marine industry over a period of time.
The participating students’ tuition will be funded through the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) by the Government of the Virgin Islands “Back to the Sea” Marine Training Programme while scholarships will also be provided through the Ministry of Education and the Premier’s Office for persons who want to specialise in Marine based programmes.
“If you want to further your studies with a Bachelors or Master’s degree in the Marine Industry now is the time, this is the place and your Government has the plan to get this done. So please ensure that you apply. It will be done using a two tier approach: one through the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries & Agriculture with the regular scholarships and there will be target scholarships for Marine, Tourism Entrepreneurship and other areas,” Premier Fahie further added.
The “Back to the Sea” Marine Training Programme is designed with two phases. The initial phase allows Government to support those candidates who would be accepted by an accredited programme in collaboration with the HLSCC or other local training institutions that have provided accredited marine training locally.
The Government will coordinate the programme through its partnership with all marine industry stakeholders and will assist the college with the necessary resources to fulfill its mandate as the Regional Centre for Excellence for Marine Studies within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
The second phase in the Government’s commitment begins in January 2020 to support those persons who may apply and get acceptance to study in the maritime field at accredited maritime training institutions beyond the shores of the Virgin Islands.
- Photo 1:2- Premier Fahie speaking at the first day of classes of the marine professional training programme on October 7.
- Photo 2:2- Group shot of Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, faculty of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and Students of the Marine Professional Training Programme.