Maritime Authority to Collaborate with CMI to Increase Number of Seafarers


For the 2008/09 fiscal year, the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, in collaboration with the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and the HEART Trust/NTA, will seek to expand the output of Jamaican seafarers with a view to supplying crew for the global shipping fleet.
“The project is still at a preliminary developmental stage, but it is to gradually include the CMI’s role in improving the quality of seafarers from Jamaica, with the CMI acting as the training nucleus for sub-regional centres around the island, to facilitate the delivery of aspects of the seafaring programme via distance learning medium,” Mike Henry, Minister of Transport and Works, has said.
Making his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 28, Mr. Henry said the initiative is a new and major employment opportunity, which the Government is pursuing vigorously.
The Philippines is the largest supplier of seafarers to the global market, with some 28 per cent, and those seafarers collectively remit about US$2 billion annually to their national economy, representing about six per cent of the national exports.
Mr. Henry pointed out that there was still a great shortage of qualified seafarers globally and this would remain so until about 2015, based on projected ship-building. The CMI, he said, with the necessary resources, could increase its throughput and provide for additional employment in the maritime sector, and provide remittance to the country.
“The potential for crewing from Jamaica is, therefore, very great as, for example, our seafarers speak English, the international language of the sea. Seafaring offers a very good remuneration option, especially for technology-inclined Jamaican youngsters, including those who may not immediately opt to go to university. The pay is much higher than, comparatively, in other areas of occupation, plus there is the adventure and excitement of going to sea,” Mr. Henry said.
The Maritime Authority of Jamaica is also spearheading efforts to open a Jamaican Ship Registry office in Bremen, Germany. It is scheduled to be opened on June 13, 2008. The initiative will be in tandem with efforts to establish Jamaica as a shipping centre, through the implementation of a project to develop the necessary technical and economic framework to promote and develop targeted marine activities.

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