By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A PRIVATE sector-driven academy, designed to inspire Bahamian students towards a maritime career and equip them with the necessary skills, was launched in Freeport this past Saturday.
Ginger Moxey, minister for Grand Bahama, told the first cohort of students at the Elnet Maritime Academy and its 101 Cadet Programme: “By capitalising on every aspect of the maritime industry and making a vast number of these opportunities available to young Bahamians through education and training initiatives, we are strategically unlocking our island’s potential to provide future economic growth.
“The Ministry for Grand Bahama is pleased to partner with Elnet Maritime Agency on Maritime 101 by supporting the vision of Elbert Hepburn to educate 12th grade high school students about the shipping agency aspect of the maritime industry.”
The objective of the Elnet Maritime 101 Programme, the brainchild of Elnet Maritime’s president, Mr Hepburn, is to equip 12th grade students with basic knowledge and training in the maritime industry that will assist them with making choices about their future careers.
Mrs Moxey told the 20 students that it was her hope that, by the end of the programme, all of them will be motivated to pursue careers in the maritime industry. “I encourage you to open your minds to absorb every morsel of knowledge, and to master the skills you are taught in the weeks ahead. Grand Bahama needs you. The future of our island is bright and it is diverse, and there is plenty of room at the table for all of you,” she said.
“You are the future leaders, innovators, creators and entrepreneurs who will contribute significantly to the economic growth of Grand Bahama and The Bahamas.” Mrs Moxey challenged the high school seniors to aim high by being the best the programme has ever seen.
The students also heard from Mr. Hepburn, via a video presentation, in which he shared that it took him and his team nine months to develop a programme that would best suit them. He revealed that the goal is to continue to create opportunities in the industry and make The Bahamas the maritime centre of the world with Freeport, Grand Bahama, leading the way.
Following the opening ceremony, the students spent the rest of the day learning the basics of operations and logistics.
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