Canadian shipbuilder Seaspan Shipyards announced it is investing $1.35 million to increase training and apprenticeship opportunities for Indigenous students aged 19 through 30 interested in building a career in the trades, including in the growing shipbuilding and marine sector.  

The three-year investment is being made in the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS), a non-profit organization that has been providing education and employment training for the urban Indigenous community since 1999.

Mark Lamarre, chief executive officer, Seaspan Shipyards, said, “Having a continuous pipeline of skilled trades is fundamental to shipbuilding, and programs like ACCESS play a critical role in developing that talent pool. We hope this investment will enable young urban Indigenous students to pursue new and exciting career opportunities in the growing marine industry in British Columbia.”

Seaspan’s investment will support skills upgrading and technical training in welding and metal fabrication through the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Beginning in 2022, Seaspan’s investment will also help establish a Trades Sampler Program to introduce Indigenous high school students in five Lower Mainland districts to career opportunities in the trades. Seaspan’s investment will also support an annual $25,000 Seaspan Student Scholarship fund.

This investment is part of Seaspan’s ongoing partnership with the ACCESS organization. Since 2016, Seaspan has invested more than $4.3 million in ACCESS as a part of Seaspan’s value proposition commitment under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.

François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said, “We know that ensuring a strong economic recovery means leaving no one behind. Seaspan Shipyards’ collaboration with ACCESS will unlock Canada’s potential, while creating more opportunities for Indigenous young people to engage in training and upskilling, and access these long-term careers.” 

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said, “Creating meaningful opportunities for Indigenous youth is key to building long-term economic resilience. This collaboration between Seaspan Shipyards and ACCESS will provide Indigenous youth in British Columbia, particularly here on the North Shore, with the training and workplace opportunities necessary to support their future employment and participation in Canada’s economy.”

Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said, “Today’s investment in ACCESS will help ensure Indigenous youth in British Columbia are involved in Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery. Through the creation of new training opportunities and apprenticeships in the growing shipbuilding and marine industry, this investment will provide long-term economic growth, jobs, and opportunities for Indigenous youth.”

Lynn White, President & CEO, ACCESS (Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society), said, “ACCESS takes pride in serving our urban Indigenous community. Training and employment lead to a brighter future and Seaspan is one of our most valued partners. By providing real opportunity for meaningful and long-term employment, Seaspan expands the ability of ACCESS to support our community.”

This post appeared first on MarineLink News.

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