Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Canadian Companies Unveil
Shipbuilding Industry Strategy

By Mark Edward Nero

On Feb. 12, the British Columbia Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Board (SSRB), a group representing various Canadian private sector companies, released a workforce development strategy document for the B.C. shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

The document, titled “Towards 2020: A BC Shipbuilding & Ship Repair Industry Workforce Strategy,” is intended by the SSRB to inform and guide public and private investments in labor market development initiatives over the next decade.

It forecasts that throughout the next ten years, British Columbia employers will need over 4,000 skilled workers and trades people to meet existing and future job openings in both the shipbuilding and ship repair sector, as well as the directly affiliated metal plate and fabrication sector in professions such as welders, marine fitters, electricians, pipefitters/sprinkler installers, trades supervisors, machine fitters and marine engine mechanic occupations.

“The release of this strategy is timely for our industry as public and private institutions begin making critical decisions that will impact BC’s shipbuilding and ship repair industry for many years,” John Shaw, Vice President, Government Relations and Business Development for Seaspan Shipyards, and Vice-Chair of the SSRB, said.

Chuck Ko, President of Allied Shipbuilders, said the document was developed in consultation with many stakeholders, with the goal of “illuminating the way forward” toward building a more effective and efficient labor market for British Columbia’s growing shipbuilding and ship repair industry. “It will guide and inform decision making in both public and private sectors as to the best way forward as this industry develops rapidly over the next few years,” he said.

A digital version of the Workforce Strategy is available at http://issuu.com/gocrocodile/docs/towards_2020_digital