JIS News

The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is continuing its thrust to take maritime education and training for professional seafarers and allied industry personnel to the wider Caribbean.
Senior officials of the CMI recently visited Guyana, where they launched the two-year Diploma programme in International Shipping and Logistics and shared their expertise through a training workshop, designed to strengthen and improve Guyana’s maritime institutions. Since the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has outlined new security regulations and standards with which ports must comply. For example, there is now the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPFS) Code and the Maritime Transportation Security Act, to which all port facilities and ships involved in international trade would have to comply if they are to engage in trade in those jurisdictions to which the codes apply.
“The Guyana shipping industry needs to be well prepared and ready to comply with these requirements before July 1,”explained Vivette Grant, Manager of Information and Research at the CMI.
“A survey was done in Guyana and it was found that the shipping industry is still in its infantile stage, so the industry has embarked on a project for institutional strengthening to bring the industry in line with the international requirements,” she added.
As a result of this survey, the Shipping Association of Guyana forged a relationship with the CMI, to offer for the first time in Guyana, professional training programmes and workshops for seafarers and other operators in the local maritime industry, on general sensitisation to all national, regional and international conventions.
The conventions covered include the Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL), the Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 95 and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
The project, which is administered by the Guyana Manufacturers’ Association, is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and includes training in land-based skills in shipping and port operations.
“The first aspect of the training, which started on February 16 and ran for two weeks, was really to sensitise the Guyanese to the various International Maritime Organisation’s conventions and to provide them with training in land-based shipping requirements, such as maritime law, carriage of goods by sea law, cargo planning, terminal operations and ship knowledge,” Mrs. Grant told JIS News.
A subsequent training programme will be held in May for another two or three weeks, to conclude what was started in February. Director of the Navigation Department at the CMI, Captain Elgin Swapp and Mrs. Grant both conducted the training workshops, and will spearhead the second phase of the training programme.
Mrs. Grant said that based on the evaluations and feedback, the training went well. A wide cross-section of persons involved in the maritime industry who attended the workshops, including persons who work directly in the offices at the ports and professional seafarers, were impressed with the scope of training.
In fact, some of the students enrolled in the Diploma programme who attended the training workshops, indicated that the training really endorsed and helped them to better understand some of what was being taught in the Diploma programme, she said.
The CMI has consistently met the quality training standards outlined by the IMO and is among a list of institutions qualified to train maritime personnel regionally.
“We are very happy to state that the Caribbean Maritime Institute is the only recognised and certified training institution in the English-speaking Caribbean. We are certified by the International Maritime Organization and all our training programmes are conducted in accordance with the IMO’s requirements,” Mrs. Grant told JIS News.
The Diploma in International Shipping and Logistics programme was first offered in the Eastern Caribbean in 1996, in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Barbados.
Plans are underway to restart the programme in some of these islands before year-end, and to take it to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Grenada in the not-too-distant future, Mrs. Grant noted. For persons who are unable to attend classes at the Institute, arrangements are made for CMI instructors to go to them. “We tailor the programmes to suit their needs, so we go to the regions to conduct short training programmes,” she said. The programme recently launched in Guyana currently has 10 students enrolled.
Representatives of the CMI who attended the launch of the Diploma programme, included Chairman, Captain Hopeton DeLisser; Executive Director, Lieutenant Commander Michael Rodriguez; Programme Administrator, Keisha Walker, Captain Swapp and Mrs. Grant.

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