Sidney’s marine training heads east

Source: Times Colonist
By: Carla Wilson
Published: July 8, 2013

Sidney training company’s technology and expertise will be the foundation for a three-year training program offered by the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association.

Quadrant Marine Institute will work with the Halifax-based boatbuilders association to create a training program expected to be available in spring 2014, Peter Dahl, Quadrant’s vice-president, said Monday.

The training will support a new marine service technician apprenticeship program, recently designated by the province of Nova Scotia.

Geared mainly for the recreational boating sector, the apprenticeship will cover repair and maintenance of pleasure boats, yachts and light commercial vessels. Training covers everything from sailboat rigging to engine installations.

Quadrant was developed by a group of Victoria-area marine businesses to offer a four-year marine service technician apprenticeship training program under contract with B.C.’s Industry Training Authority. It has been offered since 1995.

Marine service technicians are usually employed by marinas, repair yards, boat builders and specialty marine businesses that provide equipment, repair and maintenance services. They have technical training in almost every aspect of vessel servicing and several years of experience in the industry.

“Training is critical to business success in this industry,” Quadrant president Campbell Black said in a statement. “To have both east and west coasts collaborating on this much-needed program is a huge step forward.”

Demand has increased in recent years for trained marine service workers at the same time as “technologies for building and servicing pleasure and commercial craft becomes more complex,” Quadrant said. Boat owners are insisting on high levels of quality from repair and maintenance facilities.

Tim Edwards, Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association executive director, said the new apprenticeship program will give “much-needed recognition to the existing workforce as well as help attract new workers to the industry.”

Under the three year deal, Quadrant will provide the association with curriculum materials, assessment tools and ongoing consulting. The new program will be available to workers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.