CMU Well-Positioned to Produce Graduates to Take Country Forward – Dr. Wheatley

Photo: Dave Reid Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley.

Story Highlights

  • Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the newly established Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) is well-positioned to produce graduates capable of playing key roles in furthering Jamaica’s development.
  • “This puts the CMU in a position to offer quality training in areas such as logistics, freight forwarding, and immigration and border security programmes. In so doing, we will be able to respond to the growing needs of an expanded Panama Canal, with Jamaica ultimately becoming the region’s premier logistics hub,” he added.
  • The Minister said that revolutionary technological innovations and transformations will significantly impact the maritime industry, and new delivery capabilities will enable Jamaica’s logistics sector to harness technologies such as autonomous trucks and drones, in order to find more efficient ways to deliver shipments, adding that “this is why the CMU will be important”.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the newly established Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) is well-positioned to produce graduates capable of playing key roles in furthering Jamaica’s development.

Noting the Government’s cognisance of the need for a tertiary system that produces well-trained graduates to compete globally, particularly in the knowledge-based economy, Dr. Wheatley said his Ministry forged an “ambitious and aggressive” partnership with the institution while it operated as the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).

He pointed out that the relationship, which was facilitated through the Universal Service Fund (USF), saw the entity providing approximately $454 million in grant support to improve the institution’s infrastructure and expand its training capabilities.

“This puts the CMU in a position to offer quality training in areas such as logistics, freight forwarding, and immigration and border security programmes. In so doing, we will be able to respond to the growing needs of an expanded Panama Canal, with Jamaica ultimately becoming the region’s premier logistics hub,” he added.

The Minister was speaking at the CMU’s inaugural Charter Day ceremony at the National Arena in Kingston, on September 28.

Dr. Wheatley said that as one of Jamaica’s premier tertiary institutions, the CMU, through its curriculum, will feed into the Government’s and private-sector initiatives supporting science, technology and innovation.

To spur this, he informed that the Ministry has established a technology fund to enable enterprising students to access financing that will assist them in bringing their ideas to fruition.

The Minister noted that this will ultimately result in the creation of solutions and products that contribute to furthering Jamaica’s growth and development. “The CMU will play a key role in shaping future technology by being a leader in innovation while educating future generations,” he said.

The Minister said that revolutionary technological innovations and transformations will significantly impact the maritime industry, and new delivery capabilities will enable Jamaica’s logistics sector to harness technologies such as autonomous trucks and drones, in order to find more efficient ways to deliver shipments, adding that “this is why the CMU will be important”.

“In the future, though technological innovation, transportation (and) communication costs will fall, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective and the cost of trade will diminish.

All of this will open new markets and drive economic growth,” he said.

The Minister pointed out that knowledge is a key driver of socio-economic development, which is critical in determining whether a country progresses or falls behind.

“Knowledge is the key factor that will determine the competitive edge of the (logistics and maritime) industry and our country, as a whole. I assure you that the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology fully supports and will continue to support the Caribbean Maritime University,” Dr. Wheatley added.

The CMU commenced operations in September 1980 with 16 students under the name Jamaica Maritime Training Institute, which was the result of a partnership between the Governments of Jamaica and the Kingdom of Norway.

Its name was changed to the Caribbean Maritime Institute in 2001, and subsequently the Caribbean Maritime University this year.
Student enrolment has increased steadily over the past 37 years and now stands at just under 5,000.

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