The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) is delighted to announce that the popularity of its Maritime Cadet Corps continues unabated, despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 throughout much of the past year. More significant still is the high number of female cadets signing up for the three-year programme.
The number of females joining the corps underlines the success of World Maritime Day 2019’s theme of ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’. The split to date in students enrolling for the 2020/2022 course stands at 65% female and 35% male. It is also clear evidence that the United Nations Substainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 – Gender Equality (Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls) – is gaining traction in The Bahamas. And it is not simply the quantity of girls that is significant, as five of the top seven cadets of the 2019/2020 intake were female, spread across both the deck and engineering competence.
BMA Managing Director and CEO, Captain Dwain Hutchinson, said: “Capacity building for the future is a BMA mandate and a key goal for our Corporate Social Responsibility and The Bahamas Maritime Cadet Corps (BMCC) plays a vital role in our efforts to achieve that. We are all particularly pleased to see that female students are signing up in high numbers and are more than demonstrating their competence and capability to be employed in this sector.”
The BMCC gives Bahamian high school students from grades 10 – 12 the opportunity to experience training in areas such as seamanship, shipboard operation, coastal navigation, fire-fighting, basic first aid and survival skills. Practical shipboard experience and in-kind support is provided by the Bahamas Shipowners Association, individual shipowners and Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF).
In November 2020 the cadets took a field trip on board the RBDF craft HMBS Kamalamee during its port call in Ingua, Bahamas.
“The BMA is very grateful to the Captain and crew of the HMBS Kamalamee for giving the students this amazing opportunity – receiving practical exposure to some of the aspects of seamanship and ship handling that they had learned about in the classroom has deepened their understanding of shipboard life. We are all delighted to see that there is still widespread interest in joining our profession – the cadets of today are the mariners of tomorrow,” adds Clayton Curtis, BMCC Coordinator.