by Maria Driscoll
Jeanette MacAulay, VP Development and External Relations at Holland College, along with Joe McGuire, Member of Parliament for Egmont and Hon. Greg Deighan, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Province of Prince Edward Island today participated in the official re-opening of the Holland College Marine Training Centre. In March 2003, in order to keep pace with evolving industry standards and rapidly changing training requirements, the College and its government partners announced a $3.5 million upgrade for the Centre facilities and its training equipment. The expansion is now complete.
"The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is pleased to have invested $1.5 million in this significant expansion and technology upgrades, which have allowed Holland College to maintain and strengthen its reputation as a leader in marine training and expertise," said Mr. McGuire, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). "The Marine Training Centre is now poised to attract students from around the world as well as meet the training needs of Islanders involved in the in-shore fishery, many of whom reside and are employed in rural areas of the province."
The Marine Training Centre now features a Kongsberg Polaris Advanced Full Mission Ship?s Bridge Simulator, which includes a fully-integrated Dynamic Positioning system, along with an integrated Engine Room simulator and a Liquid Cargo Handling simulator. This significant investment has made the Marine Training Centre the first marine school in the world to feature this fully integrated Kongsberg training equipment.
"Offering hands-on training with some of the most advanced technology in the world today, Holland College has positioned itself as a leader in training for the growing marine industry," said Minister Deighan. "I commend the College for its vision. The Government of Prince Edward Island is proud to be one of the partners to help realize this turning point in the life of the Marine Training Centre."
Holland College invested $500,000 toward the initiative, the Department of Development and Technology, through Prince Edward Island Business Development contributed $1.5 million and the Government of Canada, through ACOA?s Strategic Community Investment Fund (SCIF) contributed an additional $1.5 million.
"The issue of attracting, retaining and training a sufficient number of qualified mariners is one of the biggest challenges facing both the marine industry and marine training institutions," stated Jeanette MacAulay. "With the reopening of its expanded training facilities, the Marine Training Centre is signalling its commitment to meeting this challenge and we, along with government and the marine industry look forward to very exciting years ahead."
Opened in 1972 as the Marine and Fisheries Training School, the Holland College Marine Training Centre has been providing Transport Canada-approved training to the marine industry for more than three decades.
For more information about this release, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Date: Friday, October 03, 2003