Canadian Based Company ‘OCEAN’ Trains and Employs Jamaicans

OCEAN Boosts Employment & Trains Jamaicans for Harbour Tug Services

Kingston, Jamaica Having recently, signed a 10-year contract with Jamaica’s Port Authority for the provision of harbor towage services, Ocean invested approx. $US 60,000 on a training programme for Jamaicans who will be hired to operate the vessels.

The Québec based company also provided three of the most state-of-the-art tugboats namely, the Ocean Stevns, Ocean Taiga and the Ocean Kingston Pride, which replaced two older vessels previously utilized by the port.

Ocean organized a month-long training programme for Jamaicans seeking employment associated with the company’s tugboat services. This was to ensure that the vessels are manned and maintained in accordance with international maritime standards.

The initial preparation and training was conducted for the future crew members for each of the three tugs. This amounts to the participation of approx. 40 Jamaicans during the course of the programme.

The training was divided into four sections beginning with the general policies of the Ocean Group; occupational health; safety and the environment; standard operational protocol and procedures; familiarization of the ships and of Kingston Harbour.

The training was divided into four sections beginning with the general polices of the Ocean Group; occupational health; safety and the environment; standard operational protocol and procedures; familiarization of the ships and of Kingston Harbour.

All of the aforementioned categories were addressed both in class and hands on training onboard. The captains were further exposed to an advanced navigation simulator that enabled them to quickly learn the required maneuvers in three days.

Ocean’s experts in the field, Marine Skills Development Specialist, Francois Laplante, Lieutenant-Commander, CD (Ret. RCN) and Captain Robert Martin conducted these sessions.

In addition, Ocean will provide the trainees with payment for the training period as well as the formal salaries of participants hired post training.  Ocean will continue to invest in training over the next two years. The applicants trained this summer were quite enthusiastic and positive about the programme.

Ocean Group Boosts Employment & Trains Jamaicans for Harbour Tug Services
PRACTICE RUN – (Back left) Captain Gawayne Smith, (back right) Captain Jason Hemmings and (front center) Captain Carlton Welsh look to Captain Robert Martin for guidance.

In addition, Ocean will provide the trainees with payment for the training period as well as the formal salaries of participants hired post training.  Ocean will continue to invest in training over the next two years. The applicants trained this summer were quite enthusiastic and positive about the programme.

“Ocean is very meticulous in how they conduct their operations, they are very thorough and very professional … they take the time to present the knowledge of their operations while other companies will just have you go on board and you have to take the time to catch on. No one is going to teach you anything, but Ocean really ensures that their employees have a full grasp of all operations,” noted Ricardo Walker, Captain.

Paul Emiel Malabver, Chief Engineer of the Ocean Kingston Pride, also remarked on the quality of the training while praising Ocean’s newer vessels and the advanced technology present on-board:

“The ‘WOW’ factor for me, was the newer vessels and the automation and control of these vessels are state-of-the-art … more and more the industry is moving towards automation of the machinery to reduce human error … and as it relates to other aspects of the training, the policies of the company and the safety procedures are laid out in regulation with international bodies,” remarked Malabver.  

Other trainees, including Deckhand, Oneil Hinds, who spoke positively of his experience with Ocean, shared similar sentiments:

“With 15 years in the industry, Ocean’s training is the best I have seen in all my years. The instructors are very good at what they do and discussing the issue of safety, that we sometimes take for granted, was an area that Ocean focuses a great deal on,” remarked Hinds.

During discussions with other crewmembers, it was evident that Ocean provided an efficient and effective training module, one that was developed internally by the company.  Captain Ismael Chavez Enrique further reiterated this statement while also commenting on the friendly and stable learning environment of the Ocean team:

“The Ocean team has been very kind and effective in the proposal they are pursuing. They make sure you are well prepared and comfortable. They are not like typical employers, it is as if they become part of you and they work quickly to resolve any issues that we may encounter,” noted Captain Chavez.

Ocean Group Boosts Employment & Trains Jamaicans for Harbour Tug Services
ENGINES READY: Chief Engineer of the Ocean Kingston Pride, Paul Emiel Malabver, inspects the engine room while his fellow engineers, Clifford Walters and Hugh Marshall look on.

Ocean intends to conduct periodic refresher courses through the use of an E-learning platform that employees will be able to access free of charge.

This method will be more cost effective, timely and efficient. Ocean further signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) for future specialized trainings, whereby Ocean will have access to CMU’s facilities and its instructors, who are also required to be knowledgeable of the newest technology in the industry.

However, Ocean’s current training programme will be completed in October of this year.

While Ocean has engaged in projects in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and St. Kitts and Nevis, the 10-year contract signed in Jamaica, is Ocean’s largest engagement in the Caribbean. Kingston Harbour is set to become the premier Caribbean hub for Post Panamax vessels. Ocean remains open to other potential projects both in Jamaica and in the Caribbean at large.

THE OCEAN KINGSTON: The Ocean Kingston Pride arrived at the Kingston Harbour on August, 13th. Trainees spent the next two days familiarizing themselves with the various operational procedures on board.
THE OCEAN KINGSTON: The Ocean Kingston Pride arrived at the Kingston Harbour on August, 13th. Trainees spent the next two days familiarizing themselves with the various operational procedures on board.

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