GBPA Chairman Addresses Maritime Graduates


“You are entering an industry that is vibrant, active and growing despite a global recession,” said Ian Fair, Chairman, The Grand Bahama Authority, Limited (GBPA).  Addressing the largest group of Maritime Cadet Corps to graduate on Grand Bahama to date, Fair further added, “Unlike many fields that are downsizing, the maritime sector offers so many different job careers for you to choose from.”
The Bahamas Maritime Cadet Corps (BMCC) was formed in 2004 and spread to Grand Bahama in March 2009. The programme affords secondary education students with an opportunity to receive skills training in various areas of the maritime industry.
Speaking to this year’s 39 successful graduates, Fair commended them for their perseverance.  “Over the course of your studies, you could have fallen victim to any numerous distractions. However, despite current social trends and negative influences which permeate our society, like true seafarers, each of you have ‘stayed the course’.  My advice to you is to never stop learning; it should be a lifetime of commitment.”
Drawing on his experience as a past Chairman of The Bahamas Maritime Authority, he described the maritime industry as one of the three most important cornerstones of our country’s future development.  “Over 90% of the world’s trade goes by ship and we have an ever increasing amount of global trade and interaction between countries which is unlikely to change in the next hundred years,” stated Fair.
“The international shipping industry, which is only one component of the maritime sector, employs some 1.25million seafarers worldwide.  As the world’s 5th largest shipping registry, thousands of these persons are attached to vessels that sail under the Bahamian flag.”
Therefore, he encouraged his listeners to take advantage of job opportunities in ship registry, shipping, general maritime services, the Freeport Container Port, the shipyard, various yacht service centres, the Port Department, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the fishing industry, maritime leisure and sport fishing business.  “Yes, there is a meaningful and lucrative career available for you,” he added.
BMCC Programme Director, Clayton Curtis invited the students to emulate former cadets like Leo Hudson, a former deputy head boy of Jack Hayward High School, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Transportation from State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) Maritime College and now has an unlimited ocean going 3rd mate’s licence.  Also, 2011 BMCC cadet Donavin Rohs who achieved the highest score ever at the Holland College on a Transport Canada examination, and Trent Williams who remains on the Admiral’s List since entering S.U.N.Y. and shifting from Naval Architecture to a Marine Engineering major.
Along these lines, graduates were brought up to date on current accessibility to specialized training on local home soil, including the Maritime Studies Baccalaureate degree programme available at the College of The Bahamas.  Additionally, Fair made mention of Campbell Shipping’s $25 million maritime academy in Nassau that expects to begin its work study programme for international maritime certification in 2014.
“The Bahamas Maritime Authority is focused on attracting quality and newer vessels to this nation’s shipping registry. Quality service requires qualified workers.  Therefore, I encourage you to take advantage of the excellent opportunities afforded you through your participation in the Maritime Cadet Corps, and thereby position yourself to compete in this worldwide market which is open to you,” concluded Fair.  “The Grand Bahama Port Authority wishes you smooth sailing and calm seas as you embark upon the next stage of your life’s journey.”
By: Deidre Rahming
The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited