The British Columbia government is supporting the province’s robust shipbuilding industry with a $550,000 investment to develop training strategies for workers within a new industry-led marine training centre, announced Premier Christy Clark.
“This will give British Columbians the opportunity to seize the jobs in the marine industry — good solid jobs that support families,” said Clark. “The shipbuilding industry has been such an important part of our province’s history. We are committed to supporting the industry so that jobs will be there for generations to come.”
Programs will include skills development training for those new to trades, an upgrading program to help trade workers from other industries move into the marine sector and a supervisory training course for experienced workers. Funding will also be used to establish the centre’s governance mechanism and provide initial management capacity.
“There is a strong need for B.C.’s shipbuilding and ship-repair industry to recruit and train new workers,” said George MacPherson, president of Marine Workers and Boilermakers Industrial Union. “This industry-led training program will help us keep marine jobs in B.C., where they belong.”
As with many other goods producing industries, marine-specific trade and occupations are facing aging workforces and will soon be in need of new and younger workers. A recent report has forecasted there will be more than 1,000 openings for B.C.-based shipbuilding production workers in 2013, said the province.
The Resource Training Organization (RTO) of British Columbia will work with partners to establish an industry-led board of directors that will oversee the proposed training and research centre.
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