Training & Education


Esquimalt, BC – Dec. 15, 2014 – The Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre (IMTARC), BC's key shipbuilding and repair industry workforce development integrator, today announced that seven of 13 graduates from the First Nations Employment Society (FNES) “Passport to Shipbuilding and Repair” course will immediately begin work at Vancouver-based Meridian Marine Industries Inc. This is in addition to the earlier graduates from IMTARC coursing who are already employed by Meridian Marine.

The eight-week course, which was held at the Musqueam First Nation in Vancouver, began on October 20 and ended Friday, December 12. The curriculum was designed and developed by IMTARC for FNES. 

The 13 participants were given an overview of the shipbuilding and repair industry and also had the opportunity to tour local shipyards and take part in hands-on job experience at Meridian Marine. During the training, the students dramatically improved their math and English assessment scores, and worked effectively during their work practicum at Meridian Marine.

“The success of these programs relies heavily on employer support," said Michelle Traoré, IMTARC’s Manager of Operations and course instructor. “We are very lucky to have an employer like Meridian Marine, as they went above and beyond in providing these quality opportunities for our aboriginal students.”

Commenting on the new hires, Jerry Pedneault, Operations Manager for Meridian Marine said, “It was exciting to see the exuberance these young graduates demonstrated, combined with their desire and drive to gain more knowledge of the marine industry. We look forward to working with this group and others, as they become an integral part of the future of the marine industry on the West Coast.”                                                                                               

While the seven now working at Meridian Marine are happy to have been hired, the other six course graduates will be focusing on going back to school to pursue their goal of working in the shipbuilding and repair industry.                                                                         

The Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre (IMTARC) is a scalable value-adding system integrator for workforce development and applied research that contributes to the competitiveness and productivity of BC’s shipbuilding and repair industry. SkillSource (formerly known as the RTO) owns and operates IMTARC on behalf of industry that sets the direction and priorities for the Centre. For more information, contact Michelle Traoré at 778-265-5005 or

About Meridian Marine
Vancouver, BC-based Meridian Marine Industries Inc. was founded in 1995, and is recognized as a quality provider of ship repair, new construction and offshore services for provincial, national and international clients. Meridian Marine is a privately-held company. For more information, contact James McFadden at 604-270-2775 or

About First Nations Employment Society
The First Nations Employment Society was incorporated as a non-profit society in April 1997 and provides leadership in developing Aboriginal Human Resources at a regional level. FNES represents ten First Nations as well as on/off reserve people residing in the Vancouver Sunshine Coast areas. FNES manages an agreement with Service Canada on behalf of the ten First Nations with delegated authority for training and employment in the Vancouver Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia. For more information, contact Jay Mearns at 604-605-7194 or



From October 4th to October 18th ten hardworking individuals took part in the Aboriginal Workplace Readiness Program at the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre (IMTARC) in Esquimalt, BC. 

The objective of this preparedness program was to help participants learn about, and adjust to, workplace culture.   This was the first program of this nature to be taught at IMTARC.  IMTARC is located on Songhees land and therefore the first pilot program was open to Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.  IMTARC hopes to continue this course in the future with all nations.

Participants in the course learned the workplace skills that are required to succeed at employment.  They developed an understanding of the workplace, established positive work habits and attitudes, explored a variety of careers and understood the educational opportunities available to pursue in a chosen career. They also created an up-to-date resume, developed interview skills, completed applications to desired companies and/or educational providers and established professional contacts. By the end of the course each student had applied to a minimum of five jobs or had applied for education.  

One of the main benefits of the course is the continued support at IMTARC for each participant.  IMTARC has created an open door policy with the participants in the program so that they can drop by the Centre to work on their resume or receive assistance as much as they like. 

Michelle Brown, Centre Administrator of IMTARC, was the course instructor and developed the curriculum for this program.   "It was an honor to teach such hard-working dedicated individuals " says Michelle, "each participant in the program learned the value of determining their strengths and pursuing a career that they are passionate about".  

There were strict guidelines in the course that stated each participant must be present for each day of the program.  The course was structured similar to the reality of being in the workforce.  Not one of the participants from the program missed a single day of the program.  This shows the hard work and dedication the participants had when given the opportunity.   Without the commitment of each participant, staff, family and friends none of this success would be possible.  

Future courses will be taught and opened up to additional nations once funding streams are determined for future courses.  We look forward to continuing to teach this course to students to increase success within the aboriginal community.