There was a palpable buzz at Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards as 16 eager trainees descended upon the shipyard as part of their marine trades skills foundation program. The trainees, ranging in age from 20 to 55, are all part of Camosun College’s Women in Trades Training Initiative, funded by the Industry Training Authority through the Canada-BC Job Fund, and recently expanded with help from Seaspan.
The 12-week Trades Skills Foundation Program – Marine is, as its name suggests, designed to give participants an overview of marine-related trades, through in-class work and hands-on experience. Students visit each of Camosun’s trade shops and go out into the field for onsite learning. Students, who may have had very little prior exposure to the trades, will be able to explore different options. Upon graduation from the Foundation Program, trainees are ready for positions as entry level trade helpers and skilled labourers in the industry or for bridging to other programs. Read more »
Four years ago, Kuljeet Kaushal was a junior engineer at a Vancouver-area yacht maker. Today, the 27-year-old is employed at shipbuilding giant Seaspan Shipyards at their North Vancouver design and manufacturing facility, where his responsibilities have significantly increased – as has his salary.
His job includes working on a major program under the federal government’s long-term National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), which will see the construction of vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. Seaspan Shipyards, which the government competitively selected as the non-combat shipbuilder under the NSS, is currently designing an Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) for the Coast Guard and two Joint Support Ships (JSS) for the Canadian Navy. This design work is in addition to the construction of the two remaining Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) which are at various stages of completion; the first OFSV was launched in December 2017. Read more »