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Already considered to be the Region’s ‘centre of excellence’ for the provision of maritime education, training, research and consultancy, the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) recently announced that it has entered a number of strategic partnerships that will see the Institute’s extending its franchise of training programmes across the Caribbean and providing its students with hands-on training on some of the world’s largest and most prestigious vessels.
Executive Director of the CMI, Fritz Pinnock, who announced the list of cooperative agreements finalized by the Institute while speaking at the institution’s graduation exercise last Thursday (November 22), informed: “We have now formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (PMAC) for which the CMI is their official training and research arm. This covers the Eastern Caribbean ports inclusive of Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Dominica.”
Mr. Pinnock also informed that the Institute was “in deep discussions” with the Barbados Port Authority and the Shipping Authority of Barbados to collaborate with that government in offering the CMI’s degree programmes to their students. “Similar discussions are taking place with the St. Vincent & Grenadines officials. The objective is to make the CMI a truly Caribbean Institution,” he noted. (more)
At the Caribbean Shipping Association Conference held in Puerto Rico earlier this year, an MOU was signed with the Dutch Caribbean Training Institute (DCTC), in Curaco and De Ruyters Training Institute in Holland.
The Memorandum between the Caribbean Maritime Institute of Jamaica (CMI); De Ruyters Training & Consultancy (DRTC), Vlissingen The Netherlands (DRTC); and Dutch Caribbean Training Centre, Curacao, will meet the training needs of the regional shipping and allied industries by facilitating professional development and technical assistance. It will also facilitate exchange and transfer of relevant technology and expertise for the development of maritime training and consultancy throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Citing limited physical space as a factor inhibiting the expansion programme on its Palisadoes Park campus, Mr. Pinnock reported that the institution has formalized a strategic partnership with University of Technology (UTech), under which the Institute will undertake joint course development, research, programme delivery and student exchange. The CMI is also extending its programmes to the Montego Bay Community College, he told stakeholders and well-wishers attending last Thursday’s exercise.
Turning to the training of its students, Mr. Pinnock informed that the CMI has signed MOUs with several sea-going vessels. “We have signed an MOU with a large luxury mega yacht crewing and management company, managing in excess of 20,000 crew members worldwide with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Paris, in France.
We are pleased to report that five of our graduands, not here today, have travelled to France to join these luxury vessels as officers within the last few weeks,” he reported.
Two shipping companies, the Exmar Ship Management Company, the largest ammonia and gas carriers worldwide, and Harren and Partners are offering a total of 62 cadet berths to Phase 2 Deck and Engine Students on board their vessels. While in Kingston, Harren and Partners will offer hands-on experience to the Institute’s engineering students who will participate in complete engine overhauls along with extensive maintenance programme on board the vessels.
In addition, they have supported the Institute with the secondment of Captain Pretell who is offering technical support. Captain Pretell has been appointed Marine Director at the CMI since September 2007. In addition to a generous stipend package, Exmar will offer each student US$3,000 to offset tuition for those going back to the Class 3 programme.
Arising from that arrangement, Mr. Pinnock noted, “we have now instituted a new policy whereby each student will serve for a minimum of one year as an officer with the company with which they have received their cadet training.”
In the meantime, according to the Executive Director, the CMI, through the intervention of its new marine Director is also opening up new markets in the Americas. “We are opening up a new market in Peru whereby we are anticipating between 30- 40 Peruvian students to attend the institute for September 2008 in an arrangement with Tidewater Marine, a Louisiana-based off-shore shipping company,” Mr. Pinnock went on to inform.
Closer home, the CMI is currently formalizing an MOU agreement with the Jamaica Fire Brigade that will see the Brigade assisting with the delivery and provision of equipment, including fire ambulance, fire trucks and other materials for the CMI’s fire-fighting courses. In addition, “the CMI will be conducting specialized short courses, inclusive of Maintenance and Technical Support for the Brigade’s Marine vessels,” Mr. Pinnock disclosed.
Mr. Pinnock unveiled a number of additional initiatives that the Institute has embarked on, in a bid to reinvent itself and plot a strategic path towards gaining university status by 2010.