VIPCA proposes a Marine Development Plan of four stages:
- Career Guidance Talks: Visits to schools by VIPCA’s Executive Director Oriel Blake, St Thomas Sail and Power Squadron’s Cdr Dr. Lawrence Benjamin and the Captain’s School owner Capt Rob Alport. Seminars to be given in USVI Schools to students age 16-18 informing them oabout the potential of careers in the Marine Industry in the Territory, both on the water as Captains and crew, and ashore in marine and marine related services. Information to be given on the opportunities to attend the USVI Charter Yacht Show open day on 14th November, and to learn about VIPCA Apprenticeships and Scholarships in the Marine Industry for School leavers.
- USVI Charter Yacht Show Schools Open Day 14th November 2017: VIPCA to provide the opportunity for students who applied during the Career Guidance Talks to speak directly to the crews and captains, and to walk the docks where 50 Charter Vessels will be showcasing.
- Apprenticeships: for successful candidates who show commitment to learning to swim and participate in customer service training. 6-10 apprenticeships will be managed by VIPCA with Cruise Ship Excursions during summer 2018.
- Scholarships: from Yacht Haven Grande for students that have left school and have completed apprenticeships with Cruise Ship Excursions, having demonstrated commitment and motivation towards careers in the Marine Industry. Scholarships will pay for STCW qualifications for Crew (at the Captains School) or alternatively, vocational techinical training in mechanics or another marine related career of their choosing. Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI) will handle the scholarship funds on VIPCA’s behalf using their 501c(3) tax-exempt status.
The Marine Action Group, Marine Vocational Program and VIPCA have formulated this plan jointly, to boost employment in the USVI Marine Industry by working together with local marine businesses.
VIPCA envisages, with the support of the Department of Education in these initiatives, that within five years the U.S. Virgin Islands will see a notable increase in the Marine Industry of U.S. Virgin Islanders. With improved employment of Virgin Islanders both on the water and on the shore, the industry’s reputation would be improved as well as its’ productivity, which ultimately would advance the economy as the USVI marine industry expands.