In recognition of World Maritime Day 2016, the B.C. government, Vancouver International Maritime Centre (VIMC) and the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries (ABCMI) have announced two new projects to help the industry meet its workforce needs.

The B.C. government has provided more than $193,000 through the sector Labour Market Partnerships program (LMP), to VIMC to lead the BC Shipping Industry Labour Market Situation Analysis, and to ABCMI to lead the BC Industrial Marine Sector Engagement Project.

“On World Maritime Day today, I’d like to thank our shipping and industrial marine sector employers and employees for their important contribution to B.C.’s economy. Our government remains committed to supporting a sustainable marine sector in our province and these two projects with the Vancouver International Maritime Centre and the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries are examples of how we’re working with the industry to ensure that they have the skilled workforce they need to grow in the future,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

Since May 2016, VIMC has been working with shipping industry partners, companies and training providers on the BC Shipping Industry Labour Market Situation Analysis project, worth more than $135,000. The goal of the project is to provide a better understanding of the labour-market needs of the international shipping industry and how this data can support new operations in British Columbia.

To achieve this goal, VIMC and project partners are conducting an analysis of the industry so they can then establish labour-market supply-and-demand data for key shipping sector occupations required for new and existing operations in B.C. and Canada. As part of this project, they will also focus on key occupations in the international shipping industry that are influenced by worker mobility. The project is expected to finish in January 2017.

“British Columbia’s shipping and industrial marine sector plays a critical role in B.C.’s international trade activities. It touches our daily lives, transporting the goods British Columbians need and exporting our B.C. products around the world,” said Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism.

In addition to this project, the government also provided ABCMI with $58,000 to implement the BC Industrial Marine Sector Engagement Project, which will be completed this month. The goal of this project is to engage all the industries that contribute to B.C.’s broad industrial marine sector and identify their labour needs, as well as factors that shape their workforce. The industries that were consulted included:

  • Shipbuilding, refit and repair
  • Marine products
  • Small craft marine
  • Ocean science and technology
  • Marine industrial services
  • Marine professional services

The sector Labour Market Partnerships program is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. The program helps employers understand and respond to changing labour-market demands, ensuring that training and education programs in B.C. are aligned with industry’s labour-market needs and priorities.

“The industrial marine sector in British Columbia is broad and diverse with capacities and capabilities that are being noticed provincially, nationally, and around the globe. The BC Industrial Marine Sector Engagement Project, supported by the B.C. government, gives us the opportunity to engage with all the industries in our sector, so that we can identify and prioritize key labour-market issues together,” said Mark Dixon, president, Association of British Columbia Marine Industries.

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