Monday, August 23, 2010

Shipyard to bring in new batch of apprentices

The Grand Bahama Shipyard will soon welcome a new batch of participants in its Apprenticeship Training Program, and has introduced some new components to the curriculum.

The program has been running since 2004 and has resulted in the training of scores of young Bahamians who are now full-time employees at the company.

Director of Workforce Development at the Shipyard Joseph Darville explained that there were approximately 140 applicants for the training program this year.

Of that number, 35 were interviewed and eight – seven males and one female – were selected.

With the addition of the new participants, there will be a total of 41 students in the program.

The company will welcome the new participants and celebrate the graduation of the outgoing class during a special ceremony on Friday, September 24 at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Outten Convention Centre.

Pointing out that maritime industry and, consequently, the need for a skilled local workforce at the shipyard, is growing rapidly, Darville said the company remains committed to training young Bahamians.

"We are investing a tremendous amount of money in the Apprenticeship Training Program, adding a definite academic component to that so in addition to the regular five trades that they will normally do, they will continue beyond the high school level, to the college level in math, English, physics and technical drawing," said Darville.

The Apprenticeship program is a four year program, which exposes apprentices to both theory and practical elements, both at the company site and at The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute.

In the first year of the program, the apprentices learn five major trades – pipe fitting, welding, electrical installation, mechanical installation and fabrication – and also take classes like workplace communication and drafting at BTVI.

The next three years of their training takes place at the Shipyard, where they are placed in a specific department to fine-tune their skills.

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