News Release HAMILTON, Bermuda  Polaris Holding Company Ltd, the parent company of Stevedoring Services Limited (SSL), has announced the successful completion of a comprehensive Port Worker Training Program for SSL employees. In collaboration with the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (PMAC) and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), this initiative has certified 11 dockworkers, equipping them to work on docks across the Caribbean region.

The training program was conducted on-site in Bermuda, with Professor Radcliffe Spence and Professor Prince W. Layne, Head of Department (Logistics & Supply Chain Management) at CMU’s Jamaica campus, overseeing the training and assessments. Polaris Holding Company Ltd first engaged CMU as an industry training partner in 2015, with the first on-island cohort training taking place in 2017.

In a strategic response to a changing workforce, as several long-serving staff retired, Polaris and SSL welcomed a young cohort of dockworkers in recent months who required specialized training to excel in their roles. The program featured two distinct training tracks:

  1. Holdman Level I: This entry-level track was designed for team members who are new to the industry, providing them with the essential knowledge, skills and attitude required for safe handling of dangerous goods and efficient dock operations.
  2. Dockman Level II: Tailored for SSL employees with several years of dock experience, this track served as a valuable refresher course to ensure existing staff maintained their high standards for operating equipment and improved performance while keeping health and safety at the forefront.
  3. Superintendent Level IV – Designed for the individual to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competencies necessary to manage and lead teams in the productivity and safety requirements of all shipping stakeholders, while developing management skills and implementing policies, developing procedures to provide effective support to the senior management and team members.

The maritime industry demands vigilance and a deep understanding of technical safety protocols, especially given the potential risks associated with cargo handling. It was imperative that the influx of new workers receive comprehensive training to bolster the company’s commitment to maintaining a strong safety track record – particularly in the area of logistics and the supply chain.

Cheryl Hayward-Chew, Chairwoman of Polaris Holding Company Ltd, expressed her satisfaction with the successful completion of the training programme. She stated, “This initiative represents our dedication to ensuring the highest standards of safety, efficiency, and professionalism within our organization. We understand the importance of equipping our workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their roles.”

CEO Randy Rochester added, “This training program not only signifies our commitment to excellence, but it also emphasizes our responsibility to prioritize the well-being of our employees and the safety of our operations thus enhancing logistics and supply chain sustainability. We are proud of the accomplishments of our dockworkers and remain committed to their continuous growth and development.”

The Caribbean Maritime University is the citadel of maritime education and training in the Caribbean. The CMU is an Associate Member of PMAC and provides training to all member ports across the region.  The University’s new strategic plan dubbed, STABILITY, GROWTH AND INNOVATION, serves as a blueprint for the institution and is to reposition the institution with the goal of advancing it as a top-tier school for maritime and nautical studies that extends beyond the Caribbean. 

According to Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna, Deputy President of CMU, “The institution beams with pride as we again remain true to our commitment to providing competency-based training, assessment and certification for port workers in PMAC members’ ports. Stevedoring Services Limited, our industry partner, operators of Port Hamilton, Bermuda, in keeping with our established MOU (2017) – has again engaged us to train a new cohort of hires in Stevedoring Level I and also for experienced employees in Levels II and IV competency areas.

The employees were engaged in theory, practical, simulation exercises and case studies. This approach will develop and enhance their knowledge, skills, attitudes; and safety awareness in keeping with the safe port framework. The trainer and assessor were both impressed with the learners, in their conduct, safe way of working, displayed capabilities and commitment to their employers and work teams”.

This initiative comes on the heels of a recent tragedy in the Caribbean, where two dockworkers lost their lives, further underscoring the importance of maintaining rigorous safety standards within the port industry.

Polaris Holding Company Ltd reaffirms its commitment to fostering a culture of excellence and safety. To ensure the continued success of its operations, it will continue to invest in the development and training of its workforce.