Seaspan Shipyards says it is committing a $1.35 million investment 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.
Seaspan’s investment, which was announced in June, supports 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.
“Having a continuous pipeline of skilled trades is fundamental to shipbuilding, and programs like ACCESS play a critical role in developing that talent pool,” Seaspan Shipyards CEO Mark Lamarre said. “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.”
This investment is part of Seaspan’s ongoing partnership with the ACCESS organization. Since 2016, Seaspan has invested more than $4.3M in ACCESS as a part of Seaspan’s value proposition commitment under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.
“Today’s investment in ACCESS will help ensure Indigenous youth in British Columbia are involved in Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” ACCESS President & CEO Lynn White said. “By providing real opportunity for meaningful and long-term employment, Seaspan expands the ability of ACCESS to support our community.”