Minister Congratulates Engineering Graduates

June 15, 2024 | 0 Comments

“I along with Mr. Nasir Wade, the Plant Manager of the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility, had the pleasure this week to travel to the Cambrian College graduation ceremony,” Minister of Public Works David Burch said in the House of Assembly yesterday [June 14].

Minister David Burch Power Engineering Bermuda June 2024

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise once again to highlight the fruits of this Government’s labour in cultivating young talented Bermudians for success in the future as better equipped graduates able to make more informed choices about their career paths.

Mr. Speaker, natural attrition and the competition for employees in the local and global marketplace led the Management of the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility to look at their training projections and the need for Power Engineers not just at the facility, but for Bermuda as a whole.

In 2018, the Ministry reinstituted this programme and has invited individuals to come and learn about power engineering and related fields. After an internal vetting process, we identify individuals to ensure they can further their studies and build experience under a training program developed in partnership between the Tynes Bay Waste-to-Energy Facility’s Management, the Department of Workforce Development, the Bermuda College, and Cambrian College of Applied Arts & Technology – a renowned institution known for engineering instruction located in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I along with Mr. Nasir Wade, the Plant Manager of the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility, had the pleasure this week to travel to the Cambrian College graduation ceremony.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Marcal Wilkinson and Ms. Ayana Bean joined the internship programme in 2018, Mr. Hezekiah Rampersad and Mr. Sekai Wainwright-Basden, who both joined in 2019, are just a few of those who have embarked on the challenging task to acquire their certifications in this ever-growing field.

Over the years, this training programme has allowed young Bermudians to study at the Bermuda College to ensure that participants are academically prepared to meet the prerequisite standard of Cambrian College. Then, once the standards were met, these four Bermudians earned their rightful place at the Canadian institution to complete their studies.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that Marcal graduated last year and is currently employed full time at Tynes Bay. As of June 10th, 2024, the remaining three young Bermudians – Ayana, Hezekiah, and Sekai – earned their Advanced Diploma in Power Engineering Technology from the Cambrian College of Applied Arts & Technology.

Congratulations to these outstanding young people and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank their families for supporting them as well through their educational journey. With this qualification, it opens the opportunity for them to continue in their studies with the ultimate goal of supervisory and management roles in power plants and other industrial settings anywhere in the world.

Mr. Speaker, Sekai will join Markal as a full-time Process Controller at Tynes Bay while Ayana & Hezekiah will continue gaining valuable experience at plants in Canada before eventually returning to Bermuda.

Mr. Speaker, graduations at Cambrian College are a 4-day – 8 ceremony occasion. Our students’ graduation day was Monday afternoon where another Bermudian delivered the Alumni Address – Mr. Jason Simons. Mr. Simons is a Power Engineer who currently resides in Canada working as a Maintenance Outage Supervisor at Bruce Power Nuclear Plant in Ontario. He is also a former intern student who attended this same programme at Cambrian College and worked at the Tynes Bay Facility between 2012 and 2016. He gave two different addresses – one on Monday afternoon at the School of Health Sciences and the School of Engineering Technology Convocation and again on Tuesday morning at the School of Skilled Trades Convocation. This event was just another exemplary demonstration of Bermudian talent and excellence on display in an international arena.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you and members of this House that every Bermudian in that auditorium – Mr. Wade and I, the graduates’ parents and family members were proud to be Bermudian and even prouder of the graduates’ success.

During this visit, Mr. Wade and I met with college officials, Ms. Kristine Morrisey, President of the College, Ms. Angela Gilmore, Interim Chair for School of Engineering Technology and Environmental Studies, and Mr. Brian Lobban, the Dean of the Schools of Skills Training, Engineering Technology and Environmental Studies. At this meeting, we discussed ways on how we can improve the synergies between the Government and the College to foster the next cohort of potential graduates in power engineering. Mr. Wade, in his capacity as Chairman of the Bermuda College Board of Governors, expressed a desire to expand the relationship to other areas of study between the two colleges. He is advancing that initiative upon his return.

Following this meeting, we went on a tour of the college to the various technical areas that included a fully functional power generating plant that students get to train on in a live environment.

That evening, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wade and I hosted the graduates and their families to dinner to celebrate their success. Each one of the graduates spoke about the support they received from their families, the government, and the instructors at Cambrian College. They each highlighted how beneficial it was to be at Cambrian together and how they helped each other with their schoolwork.

Mr. Speaker, the new graduates – again Mr. Marcal Wilkinson, Mr. Hezekiah Rampersad, Mr. Sekai Wainwright-Basden, and Ms. Ayana Bean – will now continue studies to earn their relevant Power Engineering certifications over the succeeding years. These are international certifications earned through the Ontario-based Technical Standards & Safety Authority [TSSA] which comprise practical and written exams.

Mr. Speaker, I must take this opportunity to thank the public officers at the Department of Workforce Development, in particular Mr. Kenneth Bartram and Dr. Patricia Chapman and those at the Ministry of Public Works for the hard work in developing and ensuring this programme’s success. Thanks are also given to the management of the Bermuda College which has been instrumental in ensuring that all the students were ready to take on this challenge and, of course, thanks are given to Cambrian College of Applied Arts & Technology.

Mr. Speaker, honourable members, and the listening public, if you or someone you know has the slightest interest in engineering, please reach out to the Department of Workforce Development or to management at Tynes Bay to learn more about this programme.

Any person accepted into this programme, the Government will pay for your training, pay for your schooling, and offer you a position following graduation.

Mr. Speaker, this Government remains heavily vested in developing Bermudian youth and will continue to do so to ensure preservation of our collective futures.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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