Scholarship for women

Participants during the International Day for Women in Maritime at the Grand Pacifi c Hotel in Suva on Wednesday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Scholarship opportunities are accessible for women to pursue within the maritime industry.

Fiji Maritime Academy’s CEO Captain Rajitha Semage said back in 2019 WWF-Pacific sponsored 80 students to undertake a fisheries program.

“One of the main pillars of this particular venture was that 50 per cent of those scholarships were supposed to be for women, which we managed to do,” he said.

“We got 40 female seafarers to come in and they completed their first stage, so the project was supposed to be in three steps.

“The first phase was to train the seafarers and fishermen where 50 per cent prominence was given to females to go through a very quick training for about one month which they all had completed.

“The second and third stage of the project had a certain timeline and according to that timeline they had to go and find work placement onboard to get a certain amount of sea time in order to do that particular program.”

He said by the time they reached the second stage they would be trained to become officers and later on as skippers onboard ships

. “That 40 per cent didn’t get through. I think 11 if my numbers are correct came through to do the second phase of the skipper training. “So yes there was a problem but it doesn’t mean that the project was completely a failure.

“There are people who still out there completing their sea time and doors are always open for them to come in and do the program in the future as well. With regards to diploma and cadet training at FMA, the curve continues to go up and it has been so from 2018 onwards.”

WWF-Pacific and the Fiji Maritime Academy with the support of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) are offering 90 scholarships for deckhand fishing program for this year.

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