Camosun partners with Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards on new Coastal Skills Initiative

Media Release
Release Date: November 22, 2016

VICTORIA, BC – As part of Camosun’s TRADEmark of Excellence Campaign for the expansion and redevelopment of our trades training complex at Camosun, Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards has manufactured and donated a 6 tonne ship’s bulkhead training module. This essential addition to Camosun’s new Coastal Skills Initiative is in addition to the $300K donation from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to support training for women in trades that was announced on June 23, 2016.

The $88,000 bulkhead installation funded, designed, built and installed by Victoria Shipyards staff and apprentices, is the final piece in a partnership with Western Economic Diversification that has invested $2.56 million to enhance trades and manufacturing capabilities at Camosun College. “Congratulations to Camosun College for developing this innovative training program that meets the demands of Canada’s growing marine trade sector,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “We’re proud to help Canadian students develop job-ready skills so they can hit the ground running and enter our diverse job market.”

“With the addition of the training bulkhead donated by Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards, Camosun College is now well positioned to continue moving forward with its specialization in marine trades,” says Olaf Nielsen, Chair of Trades Development and Special Projects. “Of particular importance are the marine electrician endorsement program currently in preliminary stages of approval with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) for next fiscal and the marine fitter program in development/partnership with Camosun College, BCIT and the ITA. Both those programs will directly benefit from the addition of the bulkhead donation in providing students and apprentices the opportunity to practice their skills in real world shipbuilding and repair settings while learning in a controlled environment.”

To meet the specific needs of BC’s coastal economy Camosun has launched the new Coastal Skills Initiative. “As the college of the coast, Camosun in uniquely positioned to educate skilled trades people and marine professionals with a particular focus on skills that support coastal communities, grow the economy and protect our coastal environment,” says Geoff Wilmshurst, Vice President, Partnerships at Camosun College. “The Coastal Skills overlay tailors our student’s skills to the needs of the coast and allows them to find rewarding careers at home in coastal communities.” Camosun graduates build and repair ships, operate ferries and escort tugs, build and maintain marine infrastructure and technology and literally build our communities.

“Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards takes great pride in its longstanding and trusted relationship with Camosun College – a community and industry partner that is helping us develop and grow a shipbuilding and ship repair centre of excellence on the West Coast,” said Joe O’Rourke, Vice President – Victoria Shipyards. “Innovation, leadership and world-class trades training are critical components to Seaspan’s vision of re-writing shipbuilding history in Canada, and today’s announcement marks a proud moment for the progress and success of our partnership.”


Olaf Nielsen
Chair, Trades Training Development & Special Projects
Camosun College

Geoff Wilmshurst
VP Partnerships
Camosun College