The Association of British Columbia Marine Industries (ABCMI)

Jul 19, 2022

is an incorporated not-for-profit society representing the industrial marine sector in Western Canada and specifically, British Columbia. Although the genesis of ABCMI comes from the shipbuilding and ship repair sector, the Association has worked to become much broader and all-encompassing in its representation of B.C.’s industrial marine sector. Boat builders, boatyards, marine repair facilities, marine service companies, fleet owners, ocean and marine technology companies, shipyards, suppliers and manufacturers, labour groups, educators, designers, engineers, naval architects, marine lawyers, consultants, industrial development policy makers, and public entities are all part of the ABCMI member base. Several its members are fleet owners including passenger and commercial ferry services, tow & barge companies, and federal fleets including the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy.

The industrial marine sector in B.C. comprises over 1,000 companies, directly employs 22,000 workers, while sustaining 33,000 jobs and generating almost $7 billion in total output in 2019.  The sector is dominated by small firms, with half the companies in the sector employing less than 10 employees. The sector is expected to grow in employment by 30 per cent by 2027. Due to retirements, work transitions, and sector growth, an estimated 16,560 job openings are projected in the sector by 2027. This speaks to very real need for the development and application of pro-active human resource strategies focusing on attraction and recruitment, retention, and education and training – all areas where ABCMI is working with industry and government to make advances.

ABCMI works with its members in the identification and enabling of business opportunities and seeks to connect companies with other companies seeking partnerships and growth in their supply chains. ABCMI also works with its members in connecting with federal and provincial governments and responding to contract solicitations for products and services. ABCMI is a standing member of the Western Marine Advisory Board, the federal Marine Industry Advisory Committee, and participates with the Western Marine Community Coalition and the Pacific Coast Marine Advisory Review Panel.

The association’s core activities include workforce development, skills development, facilitating and enabling innovation and new technologies in the marine space, identifying and enabling business opportunities, business development, supplier development and supply chain training, supporting international business development and increasing export of products and services, and sectoral advocacy.  In short, ABCMI:

  • Strives to represent and advocate as broadly as possible for the B.C. industrial marine sector.
  • Spans all facets of the sector with activities that grow and strengthen companies and the sector’s collective prosperity.
  • Works with industry, labour, and education to ensure that there is a full supply of talent to fuel a diverse and highly skilled workforce.
  • Identifies, facilitates, and enables business opportunities.
  • Promotes and supports the development of new technologies and enables innovation in the marine and ocean space.
  • Represents companies and the sector in the national and international marketplaces and helps grow exports.
  • Creates networking opportunities for companies seeking to grow.
  • Connects the many stakeholders that have interests in the industry.

British Columbia’s industrial marine sector is an integral and important part of the province’s economy. The industrial marine sector provides goods and services that drive the marine economy, further new technologies and innovation in the ocean and marine space and enable crucial supply chains and seaborne trade that support commerce and the well-being of British Columbians. The industrial marine sector is vibrant and growing and its companies are producing products that are leading the world and getting the attention of the global marketplace.

Find out more about the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries at www.abcmi.ca or contact Alex Rueben, Executive Director, at alex@abcmi.ca or 778-430-2264.