Ladies and Gentlemen,
It was a manifesto commitment of the GSLP Liberals that I lead, entered into THREE years ago, that we would establish the Gibraltar Maritime Academy.
After the election, we demonstrated our commitment to that project.
The Government converted the party political commitment of the GSLP Liberals into an announcement of the establishment of a Maritime Academy in Gibraltar to be based at the University.
And today, we can show what the University of Gibraltar is offering to undergraduate maritime seafarers.
What better way to do it than aboard the Windsurf Cruise Ship, a great client of Gibraltar and of our partners, Viking.
Our Investment in the University and more specifically, the Maritime Academy forms part of our Government’s collective vision for Gibraltar students:
To provide our locals with the highest training standards,
And to further academic opportunities in all fields,
And in the maritime field in particular,
Because we look to make Gibraltar even more of an excellent maritime hub and the most viable cruise destination.
This Academy will no doubt become an essential part of our local economy as we take the Gibraltar product forward toward the future.
And the fact is that there is a great deal that Gibraltar can offer in terms of training and qualifications.
We have the institution,
We have the accommodation,
We have a thriving maritime industry
and now we have THE vital, key link,
A Gibraltar Maritime Academy to provide the much-needed academic and technical support.
I am extremely pleased to see the Academy will be able to equip students looking to establish themselves within the maritime field with the professional qualification and necessary experience.
Our maritime sector more widely will also benefit from these courses.
They will also provide those working already within the maritime field with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills and thereby further enhancing the Gibraltar Maritime offering.
Thank you to the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Catherine Bachleda and her team,
Minister for the Port, my dear friend Vijay Daryanani,
The Captain of the Port, John Ghio,
The whole of the GMA and all those who have been able to make this vision into a success.
We are truly excited by the prospect of putting Gibraltar firmly on the map as a provider of world class maritime training.
This is yet another great reason to be proud of the Gibraltar we have meticulously worked to deliver in the past decade.
In this week when we are blithely accused by some of not delivering on our commitments, I am so pleased to be launching a new academy of our now well established success story, the Gibraltar University.
The establishment of the University was promised by many, but delivered only by us.
Just like the Gibraltar Bank was promised by many, but delivered only by us.
Just like new schools were promised by many, but delivered only by us.
My dear friends, today, this Maritime Academy is delivered also by us.
By all of us.
Thank you for your work and your support in delivering this project.
Now, it will be the promise of a better future for the many who will benefit from its tuition.
And it will be a part of the better future for the whole maritime industry in Gibraltar.
I look forward to seeing international students/professionals coming to Gibraltar to study or enhance their skill-set in our University.
And I look forward to the Gibraltar Maritime Academy soon being part of the established infrastructure of education on the Rock.