'TRADITIONAL ENGINEERS ARE NO LONGER RELEVANT' - CARIBBEAN MARITIME INSTITUTE HEAD
By Jodi-Ann Gilpin
Pointing to a demand for more than 40,000 seafarers yearly,
Dr Fritz Pinnock, executive director at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI),
is urging that emphasis be placed on transferable skill sets in schools,
instead of having students specialise.
"That's the requirement on a yearly basis and these
officers are earning US$3,000 a month. These opportunities are out there,
particularly in the shipping industry, but we have to change the traditional
way of doing things," he told The Gleaner following the launch of Maritime
Awareness Exhibition, held on the school grounds yesterday.
Noting that the institution is looking to launch a degree in
mechatronics, the executive director said there has to be a renewed way of
viewing educational opportunities.
Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering
that includes a combination of systems engineering, mechanical engineering,
electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering, control engineering and
"The traditional engineers are no longer relevant and
we continue to evolve. The three things that should be critical at institutions
are teaching students the value of a good attitude, a foreign language and
inculcating critical thinking skills. Because with the rapid changes taking
place, you can't be confined to any one area anymore. Those skills are
transferable, no matter what area you end up," he said.
"Right now, 60 per cent of the best careers in the next
10 years are yet to be invented, and so we have to desist from seeing the
Jamaican landscape separate from the world. We need to align our programmes to
international standards," Pinnock said.
He added, "Parents, too, are to be blamed because
everybody wants their daughter to become a lawyer, but we have seen that the
traditional way of doing things are still producing gaps."
Dr Morais Guy, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of
Transport, Works and Housing, echoed similar sentiments, indicating that
innovative thinking will be the path to vast job opportunities that are
"Institutions such as CMI are needed, as they provide a
niche in education opportunities for youths in this country. Through increased
education and training, the sector here in Jamaica will not only be able to
adopt new and emerging technology but to create technology locally," the
minister told the gathering.
"If we are to in any way match up to the rest of the
world, we have to create something that is innovative, and the ministry is,
therefore, resolute in giving the necessary support, as the career
opportunities are endless," he declared.Source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20150922/traditional-engineers-are-no-longer-relevant-caribbean-maritime