Government wants more young Barbadians to take up jobs on the high seas, and plans to promote seafaring as a profession, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy has said.
The Minister made this view known Sunday during an award ceremony that featured two seafaring scholars as Barbados kicked off Maritime Week celebrations that will encompass World Maritime Day on Thursday.
“I long and look forward to the day, once again, when young Barbadians, not only men, but men and women, will once again start to look to the career opportunities that can be found on the oceans,” Sealy said during a luncheon for seafarers at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, noting that this was an employment goal for Barbadians in the past, and can be encouraged again.
Among the eight awards presented to individuals and agencies making a contribution to Barbados’ maritime life, Caribbean Maritime Institute student Kayode Branch and Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) student Teryck Haynes received the Minister’s Prize for Outstanding Performance in Maritime Studies.
This week of observances is themed, ‘Maritime Education and Training’.
“We should once again try to get more of our young people involved in seafaring. We have been talking about this for some time. I think we need to focus a little harder on trying to get those opportunities once again . . . that young Barbadians can once again start to see the opportunities that are lying within.”
Sealy observed that education and training for marine jobs was a greater priority today than it was in the 40 to 50 years ago and he promised that his ministry would attempt to focus greater attention on this sector as it planned for maritime celebrations.
The minister also suggested that it was important who were considering career choices to be exposed to the opportunities available in the sector.
“We need to take the awareness programme even in the primary school system. Those considering employment in the maritime sector must have access to training in the desired field,” he said.
Sealy pointed out that Samuel Jackman Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) had been conducting training in this area “on a limited scale”, insisting this locally available tutoring in maritime studies, “serves as a firm foundation” for students who wished to further their studies in the maritime field. (GA)