JIS News

Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Robert Pickersgill has encouraged young persons to capitalise on career opportunities in the maritime and shipping industries.
He was speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of Technology (UTech) and the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) on Friday, August 3 at the CMI office on the Palisadoes strip in Kingston.
“The sea offers attractive career opportunities for our young people,” the Minister said.
“Today, shipping and by extension, the logistics and supply chain industry, account for 35 per cent of the value of global trade,” Minister Pickersgill informed, adding that the benefits of supplying specialized businesses to service the growing demand in the maritime and logistics sector could no longer go unnoticed by scholars, practitioners, policymakers and educators.
Except for one institution in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the CMI is the only institution in the region which offers training in this sector.
“The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) ISF Manpower Project, December 2005, estimated that the current worldwide shortage of 10,000 qualified officers will grow to 21,000 by the year 2011. Hence, Jamaica’s strategy has shifted towards focusing on training officers at a higher level to meet this market demand,” Minister Pickersgill pointed out.
Against this background, the Minister outlined that the MOU was quite significant and timely. “It will allow many of UTech’s highly skilled engineers and other graduates to tap into a maritime career opportunity,” he said.
The partnership with UTech is consistent with the path of the Blue Ocean Strategic Plan, chosen by the CMI’s new administration, which is anchored in discovering and exploring untapped markets and in collaboration with other reputable institutions and organizations locally, regionally and internationally.
The collaborative ventures between both institutions, the Minister highlighted, “will facilitate the validation of some of the CMI’s programmes by UTech, the offering of joint degree programmes, collaborative research and technology initiatives, resource sharing, staff development and training and joint hosting of seminars and conferences.”
He noted that the collaborative effort by both institutions in training engineers “will produce industry ready graduates to the benefit of both the land and sea-based sectors, giving the graduates wider employment options.”
“I see this partnership as a practical demonstration of the proverbial ‘one hand washing the other’ paradigm. In a partnership, what one institution lacks may be supplied by the other and vice versa,” the Minister pointed out.

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