IMTARC & Camosun’s joint “Passport to Shipbuilding” program featured in Times Colonist

Times Colonist, May 15, 2016

Chris Taylor is like most millennials. He wants a good career job and eventually a family and home of his own.

The 24-year-old from the Beecher Bay First Nation seems well on his way.

After completing the pipefitting program at Camosun College and, more recently, the Passport to Shipbuilding classes, Taylor is working with the Ralmax Group of Companies, parent company of Point Hope Marine, a bustling ship repair yard in Victoria's Upper Harbour. He's currently working at Ellice Recycling, another Ralmax company, but sees himself at Point Hope Marine as a journeyman pipefitter working aboard navy ships, ferries and commercial vessels.

''My plan is to be part of my First Nation's future and, with my time learning at Camosun, I'm going to do that," says Taylor. He wants to work hard, earn a decent wage and save to buy a home at Beecher Bay, which is currently undergoing a massive redevelopment.

Taylor originally enrolled in pipefitting at Camosun and finished in late 2014. He couldn't find work in the oilfields as the ndustry was starting to shed jobs, so he took other work to make ends meet and beefed up his credentials with first-aid and other professional certificates.

As he struggled to get hours in pipefitting, he was told about the Passport to Shipbuilding program at Camosun, which led to work experience at the graving dock at CFB Esquimalt and the job at Ralmax. Taylor is confident he'll have a long career in shipyards as hundreds of workers are retiring and the federal government is spending billions over the next several years on building new ships.