The Marine Training Programme at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) benefited from a US$300,000 cheque to help fund the programme.
According to a government press release, the donation was done by the Government of the Virgin Islands in collaboration with Unite BVI.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie said that he is thankful for organisations like Unite BVI who step in without being asked.
“Since we have started with this marine programme for our young people, in this revamped manner, we have seen that Unite BVI has come onboard and said ‘well alright Government, you put up some money and we will match half of what you put up’…They saw what was happening, that the college was serious. They came onboard and for that I give Untie BVI my heartfelt thanks,” Premier Fahie said.
As a co-sponsor, Unite BVI donated one hundred thousand dollars (US$100,000) and the Government donated two hundred thousand dollars (US$200,000).
Executive Director of Unite BVI, Dr. L. Sauda Smith, Ph.D., said “It’s our honour and our delight to have the opportunity to assist in building intellectual and professional capacity in the Territory and I’d like to thank the college for being such a brilliant partner.”
The programme consists of four levels and in the first level, students have to show entry level competency of six (6) areas in the marine industry. These areas are basic navigation; basic swimming proficiency and water safety training; customer service and hospitality; sailing practical; marine technical training; and basic safety training.
This fall, three persons have graduated from the first workshop module, which is the Marine Professional Training I (half of level 1), and will continue the programme in 2020.
“The next gold mine industry around us is the sea but we continue to let everyone else capitalise on it except for the Virgin Islanders… but the college and the BVI will crossover into being one of the greatest maritime training centres once we continue to use what we have,” Premier Fahie stated.
The programme also seeks to provide opportunities for Virgin Islanders in the maritime industry, locally and internationally.