Students who plan to chart a course for maritime careers in shipbuilding and ship repair will benefit from a further $150,000 in funding to support training programs at BCIT and Camosun College as part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
“The B.C. government continues to partner with industry and post-secondary institutions to ensure we are building a strong workforce that supports B.C.’s economic growth,” said Naomi Yamamoto, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale who made the announcement at a World Maritime Day conference in Vancouver. “B.C. can expect almost a million job openings by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth; we need to ensure our workforce of the future is ready for the challenge.”
World Maritime Day is on Sept. 29, 2016, and recognizes the important role that international shipping plays and the links between shipping and global society.
“British Columbia is home to a burgeoning marine industry that is expanding at a tremendous rate, and creating in-demand jobs,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Our targeted funding for shipbuilding and ship repair training programs at Camosun and BCIT prepares students with the skills that employers need.”
In 2012, the B.C. shipbuilding and ship repair sector supported over 4,500 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. Approximately $10 billion in new investment is expected to be made in the shipbuilding and ship repair sector by 2020.
BCIT is receiving $75,000 to support marine fitter level 1 training that will benefit 16 students. The marine fitter program at BCIT is an intensive Industry Training Authority-recognized program that prepares students who have completed the metal fabricators and boilermakers program to train for work in the specialized shipbuilding and repair sector.
“This strategic investment from the Province will help ensure that our growing shipbuilding industry has the skilled workers it needs to continue making its significant contributions to B.C.’s economy,” said Kathy Kinloch, president of BCIT. “Our students – B.C.’s future marine fitters – will also benefit from this investment. They’re developing highly specialized skills that will lead to rewarding, in-demand careers.”
Camosun College is also receiving $75,000 to support a marine fitter level 1 training course for 16 students. The course will be taught by instructors from both BCIT and Camosun. To date, all pilot deliveries of entry-level marine fitter training have been at BCIT. The new funding will enable orientation of a Camosun instructor to deliver the program in Victoria as well.
“Camosun College has been working in partnership with BCIT to develop the curriculum for a first-ever Marine Fitter program to help meet the increasing demands for highly qualified workers in this growing industry,” said Sherri Bell, president of Camosun College. “These new programs align directly with Camosun’s focus on today’s trades training needs and will provide B.C. students with the opportunity to learn more about the specifics of shipbuilding and repair.”
Camosun Pipefitting & Passport to Shipbuilding student Chris Taylor said he is glad he made the decision to take that program, “One of the benefits was the opportunity to get hands-on work experience with a local firm. I did a week’s work down at the Esquimalt graving dock. The best part was that everyone got a chance to do multiple activities and see what they really wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to do pipefitting. Now I’m going to work hard to get the apprenticeship hours I need over the winter. I’ll be back to Camosun every few months to finish it up.”
Government launched B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint on April 29, 2014 to re-engineer education and better support training for jobs in sectors with high-demand, including ship building and ship repair.