Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence bursaries cover tuition for 12 NSCC students across Nova Scotia

Twelve deserving students started their academic careers at seven Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) campuses this month knowing that they can focus on their studies because their tuition is taken care of by the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence. 

The bursaries cover 100 per cent of tuition costs, $3,220 per student for diploma programs related to the shipbuilding sector, for the twelve students. The bursaries are renewable for the second year of a two-year program based on student performance. Total available funding for the group is $77,280.

Sarah Baker, Hannah Bruce, Cameron Charlton, Robert Clement, Kenneth Clements, Brett Ewald, Austin Hollis, Savanna Langille, Sachelle MacLennan, Thomas McCulloch, Thomas Oickle, and Matthew Smith were awarded bursaries to pursue shipbuilding related studies in the areas of welding, metal fabrication, pipe fabrication, and electrical construction and industrial studies.

The Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence is one of many initiatives Irving Shipbuilding is undertaking as it builds the Royal Canadian Navy’s future fleet as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.  The Centre of Excellence was established by Irving Shipbuilding and NSCC to build opportunities and support training for careers in shipbuilding for Nova Scotians, with particular focus on diverse communities currently under-represented in Irving Shipbuilding’s workforce and the marine sector overall.

Irving Shipbuilding has committed to investing $250,000 per year in the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence for the duration of its National Shipbuilding Strategy contracts. The Centre of Excellence is managed by NSCC.

“We want to ensure all Nova Scotians have access to the opportunities that the National Shipbuilding Strategy has created in the province,” said Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding. “We are committed to building a workforce as diverse as the country itself and are investing in individuals who could join our team of world-class shipbuilders proudly building ships for Canada.”
“Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, investments in education, community and our future workforce are made possible,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement. “We are very proud of the women and men who are pursuing careers in shipbuilding. By growing our shipbuilding expertise in Canada we are ensuring jobs and prosperity to many communities across the country."
Dawn Hamilton is a 2015 bursary recipient who now works full-time at Irving Shipbuilding

The students are the second group of recipients of Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence bursaries. 

Twelve students received similar bursaries in 2015, including Dawn Hamilton, a mother of three from Dartmouth, NS, who graduated from the Metal Fabrication program at NSCC Akerley earlier this year. 

Now a first year ironworker apprentice working on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) at Halifax Shipyard, Dawn knows firsthand how valuable the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence bursary can be.


“The bursary changed my life. Initially, I only went to NSCC to complete the Adult Learning Program and receiving this bursary allowed me to pursue a career and gave me a future,” said Hamilton.

The daughter of a Royal Canadian Navy serviceman, Dawn grew up visiting the frigates her father served on and is incredibly proud to have the opportunity to help build the future fleet. With her diploma complete and her career beginning, she knows the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for this year’s recipients.

“It can be very daunting and it’s a lot of hard work, but the whole environment at NSCC is so supportive.  If you want to succeed, they want you to succeed and they will give their all to make sure you do, and the feeling that you get when you cross that stage and get to build a ship is incredible,” said Hamilton.
“By investing in our students, corporations like Irving Shipbuilding Inc. are helping the College realize life-changing results both for the individual, their families and their community. We’ve spoken to so many students who tell us that if it weren’t for the award they received, they would not have had that immediate opportunity for a post-secondary education,” said Don Bureaux, President of NSCC. 

2017 Award Recipients:

Austin Hollis – Timberlea, NS

Welding, Akerley Campus

Brett Ewald – East Pennant, NS

Electrical Construction & Industrial, Shelburne Campus

Cameron Charlton – Timberlea, NS

Metal Fabrication, Akerley Campus

Hannah Bruce – Bridgetown, NS

Electrical Construction & Industrial, Shelburne Campus

Kenneth Clements – Port Morien, NS

Metal Fabrication, Marconi Campus

Matthew Smith – Sherbrooke, NS

Welding, Strait Area Campus

Robert   Clement – Lower Sackville, NS

Electrical Construction & Industrial, Waterfront Campus

Sachelle MacLennan – Mabou, NS

Electrical Construction & Industrial, Marconi Campus

Sarah Baker – Weymouth, NS

Welding, Burridge Campus 

Savanna Langille – Liscomb, NS

Welding, Pictou Campus

Thomas  Oickle – Brooklyn, NS

Steamfitting/Pipefitting, Shelburne Campus

Thomas McCulloch – New Glasgow, NS

Welding, Pictou Campus

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