As part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, Premier Christy Clark today announced $305,000 for shipbuilding and ship repair training programs for students at Camosun College and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
“Shipbuilding and ship repair is worth billions of dollars in British Columbia and will continue to need trained workers in the coming years,” said Premier Clark. “Through the Skills for Jobs Blueprint, our government is matching training to in-demand jobs such as those at the shipyards in Victoria and Vancouver so graduates are connected with opportunities close to home.”
Premier Clark made the announcement at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria, where work is underway to upgrade and expand the facility and double workforce capacity. Approximately $10 billion in new investment is expected to be made in the shipbuilding and ship repair sector by 2020.
The provincial government launched B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint in April 2014 to re-engineer education and better support training for in-demand jobs. The Blueprint uses data to drive decisions and shift training and education to better match labour market needs and priorities.
“B.C.’s Blueprint is giving British Columbians the skills that employers are looking for, whether the job site is a housing construction site or a dry dock,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Programs like the Marine Fitter program at BCIT and the Ship Repair program at Camosun College provide students with practical, hands-on training.”
In 2012, the B.C. shipbuilding and ship repair sector supported a total of 4,627 direct and indirect jobs. Estimates suggest that by 2020 more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs will become available, primarily on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland.
“We are creating strong partnerships with industry as we move forward to ensure B.C. has the trained workforce necessary to support economic growth.” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “With one million job openings expected by 2022 from retirements and our growing economy, we need to be workforce ready.”
“Our post-secondary institutions, such as BCIT and Camosun, provide a wide range of skilled trades training,” said Burnaby North MLA Richard T. Lee. “The 60 additional seats for shipbuilding and ship repairs will prepare students for an exciting career in a growing industry.”
Point Hope Maritime has serviced vessels in the Port of Victoria since 1873 and is the oldest shipyard in British Columbia. In spring 2014, the Ralmax Group purchased the marine industrial property from the provincial government with the desire to continue investing in the future of the shipyard for the next generation.
“Point Hope Maritime is an active shipyard that is operating at capacity with current demand. We are preparing to invest significantly to ensure we are able to respond to existing and future needs of the ship repair industry,” said The Ralmax Group president and CEO Ian Maxwell. “All of this expansion means we need trained workers for potentially 150-300 new jobs here in Victoria. These are well paying jobs that sustain families.”
Another example of the ship repair industry is the Government of Canada’s partnership with Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards to build non-combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy, worth $7.3 billion. Work in Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards includes the finalization of the $467-million modernization of Halifax-Class frigates to the west coast fleet.
“Today’s announcement marks the latest milestone in the continued rebirth of the once thriving shipbuilding industry in British Columbia,” said Jonathan Whitworth, CEO, Seaspan. “Seaspan is proud to work with industry partners across the marine sector on this exciting new program that will help provide specialized knowledge and training for thousands of young people for years to come, as we develop and grow a world-class shipbuilding and ship repair centre of excellence on the West Coast.”
BCIT is receiving $150,000 to support two intakes of the marine fitter program benefiting approximately 32 students. This investment will continue to support BCIT’s role in offering programs responsive to the shipbuilding and ship repairs industry, while creating pathways for apprentices and journey persons to add a Marine Fitter specialty to their respective trade.
“Additional seats in our marine fitter program will further open the trades to more British Columbians and help us meet the anticipated increase in demand for skilled tradespeople in the marine sector,” said BCIT president Kathy Kinloch. “This is a prime example of BCIT working with government and industry partners to turn the government’s Blueprint into action, ensuring our economy has the skilled labour it needs, when and where it is needed.”
Camosun College is receiving $155,000 and will offer two cohorts for a maximum of 28 student spaces for an entry-level shipbuilding and ship-repair program in partnership with the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre. Learners will receive foundational knowledge as well as an introduction to the various trades, apprenticeships and occupations that make up the shipbuilding, repair and marine industry on the West Coast.
“This funding will assist Camosun to deliver its first-ever entry-level shipbuilding and repair program to help meet the increasing demands for highly qualified workers in this growing industry,” said Camosun College interim president Peter Lockie. “This new program aligns directly with our current trades training offerings and will provide our students with the opportunity to learn more about the specifics of the shipbuilding and repair industry to help them decide which specialized trade or occupation within the field they wish to pursue.”
Of the one million job openings expected by 2020, more than 78% will require post-secondary education, and 44% will be in skilled trades and technical occupations.https://www.facebook.com/BCJobsPlan/posts/10153144755403241
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Advanced Education
The Ralmax Group