Outboard engines, water systems and air-conditioning have been among the topics covered as part of an ongoing Tech Workshop Series offered by H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in partnership with businesses in the marine industry.
The series, which is part of HLSCC’s Beyond Curriculum Course offerings, is currently being sponsored by MarineMax Vacations and Nanny Cay, according to the college.
HLSCC Marine Programme Manager Matthew Holt said the courses are a good opportunity for career marine technicians seeking certifications in the latest equipment.
The short, practical workshops allow full-time employees to obtain the hands-on skills needed in a rapidly changing industry, according to Mr. Holt.
The courses, he added, are also well-suited for captains and crew who wish to “upskill” in support of their routine vessel maintenance.
The college’s first Beyond Curriculum Course, which was offered in May 2022, drew six marine professionals. It focused on basic outboard engine maintenance, service and repair, and it featured Yamaha-dealer-supervised training from Nanny Cay business Tradewinds Yachting Services.
The students learned on vessels and outboards loaned to the college by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force’s Marine Unit, according to a press release issued by the community college.
Mr. Holt explained that partnering with marine businesses provides the college with access to manufacturers, dealers and distributors for specialised training on the latest equipment and technology.
The MarineMax Vacations- and Nanny Cay-sponsored Tech Workshop Series started late last month as charter fleets began annual hurricane lay-up and equipment became available for servicing for the upcoming season, the college stated.
“Our territory has a regional and international reputation as the ‘go-to’ jurisdiction for vessels and marine systems that require maintenance, service and repair,” Mr. Holt said. “Whatever the type of vessel or marine system, and wherever it may have been manufactured globally, it will almost certainly end up in the British Virgin Islands needing expert care.”
Jarel Smith, a Virgin Islander with 15 years of experience in the field, was one of the original students in the HLSCCmarine programme.
He then graduated from the Marine Mechanics Institute in Florida, and he has taken specialist training at MarineMax Vacations, according to HLSCC.
“Going away to school in Florida to come back and work at home, I’m really glad that these opportunities are here now, and I hope lots more Virgin Islanders and local technicians get to sign up for them in the next year,” he said.