Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and EXMAR, a Belgian Ship Management Company, four scholarships have been awarded to four students from the CMI. Additionally, EXMAR is offering the Institute sixteen (16) spaces onboard its vessels and a generous stipend to cadets who are placed thereon. With this stipend cadets are able to save enough to finance their final year tuition at the Institute.

The scholarships are valued at US$3,000.00 each and on completion of the course of study, each cadet is guaranteed job placement on board one of the EXMAR vessels. The grant of the scholarships is the latest of the many courtesies that EXMAR has extended to the Institute. Commenting on the initiative, Transport and Works Minister, Mike Henry under whose Ministry the CMI falls said, “the provision of the scholarships to students at the CMI is a welcome gesture that speaks to the continuing positive relationship that exists between Belgium and Jamaica

For his part, Captain Emmanuel Aguirre representing EXMAR expressed his company’s delight in making the scholarships available. “We feel very pleased to be associated with the CMI in this particular initiative; we see it as a means of assisting some young Jamaicans achieve their immense potential in the maritime arena,” he added.

The four (4) scholarships awardees are; Craig Nelson, Bassiano Biggs, Nicholas Bloomfield and Miguel Smith. Having completed their sea service onboard EXMAR vessels, the awardees have rejoined the CMI and are currently completing the last phase of their training programme.

Present at the handing over function were Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry; Executive Director of the CMI, Mr. Fritz Pinnock; Master Chief Petty Officer Ransford Burton, Head of Company of Cadets, Marine and Professional Studies and Miss Antoinette Blake, Phase 2 Deck Cadet who will be shortly placed on an EXMAR vessel for the required six (6) month sea service. Miss Blake is the overall top cadet of the 96 at the CMI and is the first female to achieve this designation.

Executive Director of the CMI said the Institute continues to play a critical role in the development of maritime skills and training in the region. He noted that given the particular expertise in engineering possessed by EXMAR for instance, the CMI continues to explore the possibility of deepening the attachment of its students to the company’s engineering organization based in Houston, Texas. He says that this is particularly good especially since EXMAR is rated for its integrated Bachelors and Masters of Science Degree programmes in Industrial Systems, Operation and Maintenance (a highly successful programme, which offers five engineering disciplines in one).

The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is the Region’s centre of excellence for tertiary maritime education, training, research and consultancy. Its mandate is to produce industry ready leaders through borderless strategic partnerships. It remains committed to its mandate.