St George’s, Grenada — For people who work at sea, an injury or accident while on the job could mean huge losses for them — and their families. In Grenada, where the fishing industry has experienced positive growth since 2012, but where most seafarers operate without formal training or certification, the impact could be even more devastating.
From September 2015 to June 2016, through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund, 112 male and female seafarers from Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique will have the opportunity to learn techniques that will make them less vulnerable to the risks associated with their profession.
The training takes place at the Caribbean Fisheries Training and Development Institute in Trinidad, where the first cohort arrived on Monday, September 28th, 2015.
Throughout the nine-day programme, which is a blended curriculum of practice and theory, the seafarers will learn personal survival techniques, firefighting and prevention, first aid, personal safety and social responsibility.
The Institute is accredited by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and delivers training in accordance with the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1995, established by the IMO.
“In Grenada, fishing is very vital to economic development. Making sure seafarers have the capacity and knowledge to handle issues they could encounter while at work is essential to keeping this growing industry afloat,” said Darran Newman, portfolio manager, Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
“Proper training reduces the probability of accidents, injury or death among seafarers, safeguards their income, and protects their families from falling into poverty,” she said.
For Grenadians, seafarer training and certification also provides opportunities for employment in the maritime industry locally and around the world. For the Government of Grenada, it reduces the number of rescue missions in response to accidents at sea and allows for cost savings.
The seafarer skills training sub-project is being delivered under the seventh cycle of BNTF, which has contributed US$123,500 to the initiative. The government of Grenada will provide US$6,500.
The sub-project aligns with the government of Grenada’s priorities and key areas of support: expanding educational opportunities in adult literacy and technical and vocational training with relevant certification, and improving the quality and safety of the fishing industry.
The BNTF Programme contributes to the reduction of poverty in targeted communities through the provision of basic infrastructure and livelihood enhancement services. BNTF funding is provided to support such interventions in ten participating countries with grant financing mainly from the Special Development Fund (Unified) of CDB and counterpart financing from participating governments.