I haven’t been able to keep up my normal pace of posting over the past week mainly because a project that I’ve been working on at Northeast Maritime Institute (NMI) is about ready to launch. Here’s a link to an article by Bermuda Sun senior writer Meredith Ebbin which will give you a good snapshot of what our MATE (Maritime Apprentice Training and Employment) program is all about. (Pilot Program to train young seaman – May 23, 2008 ) Here’s a link to an earlier Royal Gazette article which provides even more background. (Young Bermudians get chance for careers at sea – July 19, 2008 )
NMI partners in this exciting and innovative program include the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, a youth development charity which owns and operates the sail training vessel, Spirit of Bermuda (above) and the Adult Education School, an alternative adult school that offers opportunities to persons 16 years and over who have failed to gain basic educational qualifications in the traditional system. NMI’s other partners in this initiative include Bermuda’s Marine & Ports, Maritime Administration and National Training Board.
The MATE program launches on June 2 in Bermuda with 3 weeks of STCW Basic Safety Training and Able Seaman’s classes, then the students will hop aboard the Spirit of Bermuda to sail to Fairhaven, MA where they will spend the next 9 weeks enraged in a rigorous academic and practical maritime education program.
Surprisingly for an island nation, Bermuda has lost contact with it’s rich maritime heritage. One of the MATE program’s objectives is to try to remedy this. But the most important outcome of this initiative will be that young Bermudians who have have fallen out the system will be provided with the education and skills training to pursue maritime careers at home or across the globe. It’s a very worthwhile project of which I’m really please to be a part.
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