New maritime courses to be introduced at NIPA | THE DAILY HERALD

From left: Natasha Richardson, section head of the National Employment Service Center at the Division of Labour Affairs and Social Services; Christopher Marshall, president of the St. Maarten Marine Trade Association; Drs. Peggy Ann Dros, Chairlady of the AVE Supervisory Board of Directors; and Deshaun David, project manager at the NIPA.

CAY HILL–The National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) held a press conference to commemorate the signing of a two-year service-level tripartite agreement (SLA) between the NIPA, St. Maarten Marine Trade Association (SMMTA) and the Government of St. Maarten, under the auspices of the National Employment Service Center (NESC) – a unit of the Division Labour Affairs and Social Services on Monday, March 9.

  Present at the meeting were NIPA stakeholders, representatives of the SMMTA, as well as members of the NESC. “St. Maarten’s economy has a very large stake in the marine industry, which has the potential to create a great deal of opportunities in vocational education and eventually the employment sector,” said NIPA on Thursday.

  According to NIPA, the SLA is the first of its kind. “It will solidify a partnership between the three organisations, giving the students of the trade school access to untapped resources in the marine industry by working closely with the MTA,” said NIPA. “The SLA will also put an apprentice programme into effect to accompany the courses.”

  NIPA said it chose to partner with the SMMTA to develop more understanding of what is desired within the marine industry in order to create a curriculum that caters to those needs. With the NESC bridging the gap between employability of those joining the programme.

  NIPA said, maritime is not limited to sailing ships; it also entails a wide spectrum of services and employment prospects. “St. Maarten is quickly becoming one of the major hubs in the region for provisioning as well as a place to get work done on marine vessels. The objective is to create occupational opportunities for the local workforce. Once integrated people can choose to advance and move into more developed sectors of the industry,” said the school.

  Maritime courses are scheduled to begin shortly and will focus on a variety of areas within maritime industry. The courses will be offered by Kids at Sea and St. Maarten Sailing School, an important partner to this agreement. Some 14 students have already signed up, according to the school.

  As part of the maritime initiative, NIPA said it is currently in possession of a boat that the students are working on completing on time to race in the 41st Heineken Regatta in 2021. Students at the Milton Peters College originally started the boat before Hurricane Irma. The students were part of the first incarnation of the Kidz at Sea programme, which works to introduce local students to the boating industry via building and sailing.

  For more information about the Maritime course visit, follow NIPA on Facebook (@NIPASXM), or send questions directly to

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Source: The Daily Herald