According to Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Dr Natalio Wheatley, government received nearly 100 scholarship applications.
He told BVI News this high number is because of the backlog that was created after the programme halted in 2017.
“We are very happy that we were able to restart the scholarship programme. After Hurricane Irma, it was stopped and it created a big backlog of students who either couldn’t pursue their studies or had to struggle to pursue their studies,” Dr Wheatley stated.
“We know that investing in young persons is something that we have to do, especially as we want to see more local persons qualified and trained to be in the workforce. So scholarships are essential to that along with our investment in H Lavity Stoutt Community College and other programmes that we have,” he added.
Dr Wheatley said he hopes choosing to award scholarships in certain areas will fill the void that exists for some professional roles in the territory.
These roles have consistently been held by expatriates.
“We were able to award the scholarships in a diverse number of areas. These areas correspond with priority areas in our economy including agriculture, construction, technology, nursing, sports, therapy and a host of other areas where we want to move into the future,” the minister stated.
The Deputy Premier further said the system of selecting the individuals for the scholarships was rigorous but fair.
He also encouraged persons who are interested in applying for a scholarship to enrol at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College for two years, as the experience will assist with preparing them for studies abroad.
“We have a process that’s opened where anybody can apply but we’re encouraging persons who have graduated from high school to go to the H Lavity Stoutt Community College and they would stand a better chance of being awarded a scholarship,” he explained.