Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre
Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre
Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre
Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre

Pathways to Ship Building

"Pathways to Shipbuilding" Indigenous Education and Apprenticeship Pilot Program Launched with Irving Shipbuilding's Centre of Excellence

English Press Release
French Press Release



Halifax, Nova Scotia , May 4, 2016: A collaboration of ten industry, government, and Indigenous partners announced today the launch of an education and apprenticeship program to create job opportunities for 20 Indigenous students in metal fabrication. The program, offered through the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Akerley Campus in Dartmouth, offers successful students the unique opportunity to build a lasting career in shipbuilding at Irving's Halifax Shipyard.

The cohort based pilot program integrates education, industry and community partnerships to develop a model that successfully creates pathways for Indigenous Canadians to enter the shipbuilding industry. Over the course of the two-year program, participants will learn and work together, and be mentored and coached by community and industry supporters, including Indigenous employees working at the Halifax Shipyard.

In the next three to five years, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. anticipates that the industry will undergo significant growth as a result of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. In anticipation of this, Irving Shipbuilding's Centre of Excellence is dedicated to providing pathways for Nova Scotians to enter the shipbuilding industry, with particular focus on under-represented groups.

The "Pathways to Shipbuilding" collaboration includes: Irving Shipbuilding Inc., GE Canada, Unifor, Nova Scotia Community College, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Aboriginal Affairs (OAA), the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, and Labour and Advanced Education (LAE).

The Mi'kmaq Native Friendship Centre in Halifax is the community partner for the program and will be managing - in collaboration with other Indigenous organizations - the recruitment process and providing support services to the students in Halifax.

A fourteen week customized introductory program will be followed by the two-year metal fabrication program at Nova Scotia Community College's Akerley Campus.

Successful graduates who meet employment eligibility criteria will be employed by Irving Shipbuilding at the end of the two-year diploma program as positions become available in 2018 and beyond.

Funding for this pilot program will come from a variety of funding partners, with a mix of new funds and existing government programs.