With a global shortage of approximately 25,000 skilled maritime personnel, the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is on a drive to expand its capacity in order to meet the demands of a steady supply of a skilled workforce to its global shipping partners. To this end, the CMI, which is currently operating with a capacity of 800 students, is looking to expand its enrolment quota to approximately 3000 students in the short to mid-term future. Additionally, in an effort to facilitate the Ministry’s thrust for an integrated, multi-modal transportation network, the CMI’s expansion drive synchronizes to adequately position Jamaica as the transportation hub of the Caribbean. Speaking at the Institute’s Stakeholders Meeting at the Ministry of Transport and Works recently, dubbed “Awareness and Value of the Maritime Institute”, Transport and Works Minister, the Hon. Mike Henry, outlined the importance of an expanded and strengthened CMI to the country’s continued growth in the maritime industry. 

“The CMI ultimately plays a critical role in this Ministry’s thrust to have a multi-modal transportation sector, incorporating land, sea, air and rail, and operating in a seamless link towards productivity and growth. Therefore, the strengthening and expansion of the CMI is a very good way of linking the aerospace and nautical industries. At the same time, this expansion drive comes against the heels of the constant demand of skilled workers from our worldwide partners, as well as the mandate to create more opportunities and jobs for our graduates, who can be placed in employment anywhere across the world. This will ultimately result in greater rewards for the country.”

However, in acknowledging the limitations of the initiative, Minister Henry pointed out that despite the global economic constraints, the CMI will continue to navigate the waters and grow from strength to strength through the assistance and support of global partners. As a result, eight (8) CMI students were granted academic scholarships from EXMAR Ship Management Company, while one scholarship was provided by Harem and Partners. The scholarships will cover tuition expenses for the students who are in Phase III at the Institute. The CMI was earlier this year successful in securing International Standardization Organization (ISO) accreditation, and is one of the only institutions in the Caribbean which guarantees 100% employment placement after graduation, whether in local or overseas organizations.