BC’s Shipbuilding Industry: Plenty of Jobs on Deck

Shipbuilding Revival

The Shipbuilding and Repair industry and their training institutions are preparing for increased activity on BC’s Coast.  North Vancouver’s Seaspan Marine, owner of Victoria and Vancouver Shipyards, was recently awarded an $8 billion shipbuilding contract for approximately 50 non-combat vessels for the Department of National Defence and the Coast Guard over the next thirty years… read more.

A few highlights to get you up to speed.  Note the dates; there’s time to complete training for work in this exciting new era of shipbuilding….read more.

  • The first ship built will likely be a fisheries research ship, with work beginning late in 2012 or early 2013.
  • The first seven large ships will be built over eight years with materials and equipment purchased from suppliers across the country.
  • 80% of construction work will be performed in Vancouver; the remainder in Esquimalt at Victoria Shipyards.
  • Before construction starts on ships, Seaspan will spend about $160 million on their infrastructure at its Vancouver facilities and another $30 million at its Victoria Shipyards in Esquimalt.
  • Seaspan’s contract is expected to create 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • Closer to home, we could see some jobs at Nanaimo Shipyard Group
    and Port Alberni at Alberni Engineering Ltd.

Inexperienced but want to catch the wave in Shipbuilding? Good news! The industry has prioritized entry-level training programs in this field and the government has obliged with financial support.  Start exploring career options and researching the key employers in the industry at the “Resource Trades Rock” website here .

A number of players from industry, education and government are working together to make sure the right people with the right skills are ready to work and sustain this long-term period of activity.  Career Link is going to keep our eye on the following for job and training news in Shipbuilding and Repair:

  • The Resource Training Organization (RTO)  –  oversees Apprenticeship training specifically for the resource sector; watch for their links to shipbuilding news.
  • Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre (IMTARC) – new training centre opening soon in Esquimalt for entry-level skills. Curriculum still under development but training could start in early or mid 2012.
  • Industrial Training Authority (ITA) – there are two new shipbuilding-specific trades programs soon to be approved by the ITA: Marine Fitter and Shipwright. Training will start in 2012.
  • Unions such as the Marine Workers and Boilermakers Union.
  • News from Training Schools in BC – look for revamped courses in 2012.
  • The BC Government –  Ministry of Jobs Tourism and Innovation.
  • New Shipbuilding Workforce Table – details in this press release; look for future announcements from this table of industry leaders.
  • Seaspan’s website – check out their Careers section.

To explore your fit with this industry and how to jump in, meet with a Career Link employment counsellor.  It’s easy to book an appointment online or call us at 604.485.7958

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