BC/NS Discussions on Workforce (and Supplier) Development in the Shibuilding and Repair Industry

On November 26th and 27th, 2013, the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre (IMTARC) in British Columbia and the Major Initiatives and Project Office (MIPO) within the Ministry of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism in Nova Scotia collaborated in bringing together provincial stakeholders (industry, post-secondary, government) in workforce and supplier development in the shipbuilding and ship repair sectors of the respective provinces.

The objectives of the inter-provincial discussions were as follows:

  1) Gain an understanding of each other’s roles and mandates (and how they relate to the shipbuilding and ship repair industry) and establish lines of communication.
  2) Gain an understanding of what initiatives and efforts are in progress or being planned in each province.
  3) Identify common areas of interest and identify areas of collaboration and potential initiatives.

All three objectives were achieved.   While there was interest in everything that was presented by the different participants over the two days of proceedings, the following areas (no priority assigned) were identified for further collaboration and discussion leading to potential joint initiatives:

1. Exploring and possibly sharing the work carried out in BC on the establishment of new marine trades - specifically the trades of marine fitter and marine electrician - including the apprenticeship and challenge (endorsement to existing Red Seal trades) pathways.  

2. Exploring the use of new curriculum developed specifically for the shipbuilding and ship repair sector by the Regional Training Organization (RTO) and Industrial Marine Training and Research Institute (IMTARC) as it relates specifically to the Ship Repair Entry Level Training Course (a pre-employment course), the Planning & Scheduling in a Marine Industrial Environment Course, and the Ship Repair Estimating Course. 
3. Exploring the use, application, and possible collaboration of existing advanced manufacturing and prototyping facilities in both provinces to advance research and development supporting the shipbuilding and repair sector.

4. Creating comprehensive lists, in both provinces, of all available courses and curriculum that target the industrial marine, marine operations and ocean sciences sectors.  This includes all post-secondary institutions, labour unions, not-for-profits, and private training providers. 

5. Sharing between provinces, innovative ideas and approached that stem from Australian Apprenticeship organizations and including NS in strategic alliances that have been established between RTO BC and the Australian organizations. 

6. Exploring and possibly sharing the work carried out in BC by its Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Board (SSRB) on an industry human resources strategy.   Also to be discussed is the expansion of the SSRB mandate (workforce development, technology adaptation, industry development) to include both provinces and possibly at a later date, all of Canada.

7. Sharing the BC experience and results of having a dedicated resource, within the provincial industry training body, to promote and support aboriginal apprenticeship training.

8. Sharing experience, approach and leveraging of each other's work in the area of aboriginal employment in the shipbuilding and repair sector - as it relates to the federal government (ESDC) sponsored projects of the BC Coastal Aboriginal Shipbuilding Alliance (CASA) and the NS Aboriginal Employment Partnership (AEP).

9. Sharing between provinces, specific supplier development training curriculum and supporting gap analysis as carried out in NS.   This effort would also extend to collaboration between provinces on a joint approach to the applicable federal government departments to gain support for a focused supplier development effort across multiple sectors (marine, energy, aerospace).

10. Exploring the use, application, and possible collaboration on provincial workplace initiatives that promote workplace education, training, innovation and productivity.

11. Gaining a participation in both provinces in the newly developed master's degree program, at the University of British Columbia, in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME).  This effort would extend to the use of college bridge programs (such as currently in place at Camosun College) to engineering degree programs in universities.

There were also specific areas of discussion identified between Seaspan Shipyards and Irving Shipbuilding.   These will be left to the two companies to progress.  They were as follows:

• Gaining a better understanding of each other's apprenticeship programs and approach to apprenticeship.
• Coordinating a comprehensive and informed approach to their respective Value Proposition investments to benefit the shipbuilding and repair sector and its supply chain in Canada.

To view the presentations from the event please see below:

Group Introduction Presentations

Opening Presentation

IMTARC Presentation

RTO New Program Development

IMTARC New Curriculum Development

IMTARC Brokered Training

IMTARC Shipyard Labourer

NSCC- Approach to on-time delivery of industry training requirements

Camosun Presentation

BCIT Presentation

Northwest Community College Presentation

Apprenticeship - Seaspan

Innovation in Apprenticeship - Nova Scotia Apprentice Training Division

RTO - Innovation in Apprenticeship Training

Aboriginal Participation in the NSPS

Nova Scotia Aboriginal Employment Partnership

Leveraging Aboriginal Participation in NSPS Aboriginal Provincial Framework

Supplier Development - Nova Scotia Workplace Initiatives

Workplace Initiatives Training - Nova Scotia Workplace Initiatives

RTO Outreach Initiatives

Outreach Initiatives (related to NSPS) - Nova Scotia

SSRB Presentation

Seaspan Value Proposition