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Shipbuilding Industry Ready For Decade Of Growth

Feb 27, 2013 - 6 years ago

By Supply Post

The recent release of the results from the B.C. Shipbuilding and Repair Workforce Table help government and industry align their skills and training investments to capitalize on what will be a decade of growth in the shipbuilding and repair sector.

The analysis provides a complete picture of both the demand for, and supply of, jobs in the shipbuilding and repair industry. Sector employers, fleet owners, unions, industry associations, trades and training associations, and the B.C. government contributed to the labour market research. The result is a full accounting of the human resources and skills needs in an industry expected to generate $10 billion for the provincial economy by 2020.

For the first time, the shipbuilding and repair sector has established a baseline for current employment at 4,627 jobs. This includes direct employment in the sector, as well as employment in the metal plate and fabrication sector, which predominately serves the shipbuilding industry. Projected employment in both sectors is 6,883 direct and indirect jobs by 2016 and 7,605 by 2020.

To support the sector, government has already invested $550,000 to develop training programs for the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre in Esquimalt, which is operated by the Resource Training Organization. The new industry-led, marine-training centre will strive to support workforce renewal in the industry through training and education. It will also be a focal point for applied research to increase productivity and improve processes in the sector so that industry can meet the increasing level of business activity.

Government has also created new tax credits for eligible employers who employ apprentices in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. Eligible industry employers can receive a refundable tax credit of 20 per cent of wages paid per year – up to $5,250 per eligible apprentice – in the first 24 months of an eligible apprenticeship program. Shipbuilding and ship repair industry employer tax credits are also enhanced by 50 per cent for apprentices who are First Nations individuals or persons with disabilities.

Government will continue to support the sector through a new B.C. Shipbuilding and Repair Board that has been formed to lead, coordinate, and integrate cross-industry workforce development, technology and process development, and industry development projects. Funding for the workforce table is provided through the Canada- British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.

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