Pathways to Shipbuilding

Pathways to Shipbuilding

Irving Shipbuilding’s award-winning Pathways to Shipbuilding enables access to education, training and jobs for Women, Indigenous Peoples and Black Canadians. By providing groups which have been under-represented in shipbuilding with opportunities and employment, Pathways to Shipbuilding is strengthening the industry by attracting a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Women

Women are essential in the workforce of Irving shipbuilding, working in all departments and at levels – from our most junior employees to VP level.

Indigenous Peoples

With support from local industry, schools, the Government of Nova Scotia and Indigenous organizations, Pathways to Shipbuilding has successfully graduated and employed Indigenous shipbuilders and provides ongoing opportunities for careers in the shipbuilding industry.

Black Canadians

Our program integrates education, industry, and community partnerships to develop a model that successfully creates pathways for Black Canadians to enter the shipbuilding industry. The result is that many Black Canadians have successfully graduated from Pathway to Shipbuilding – most with honours.

Womenin Trades

Women

Pathways to Shipbuilding works with the non-profit Women Unlimited to attract women to work in the shipbuilding industry. Pathways to Shipbuilding for Women classes have graduated, with many graduates now having earned their Red Seal designation working at Irving Shipbuilding.

As well, we work with the YWCA’s Shift Change project to change workplace culture norms that discourage women from building careers in trades.

Indigenous Irving

Indigenous Peoples

The success of our Pathways to Shipbuilding program has seen a steady rise in the entry of Indigenous peoples to the shipbuilding industry.



Pathways to Shipbuilding has trained Indigenous peoples in the in-demand skills of welding, metal fabrication and pipefitting. With the second class scheduled to graduate in 2023, Pathways to Shipbuilding has paved the way for our Indigenous Students to begin long and successful careers as Canada’s shipbuilders.

Black Irving

Black Canadians

Irving Shipbuilding has taken a leadership role in expanding diversity within the shipbuilding industry. One of our successful initiatives has been the Pathways to Shipbuilding program for Black Canadians, a group traditionally under-represented in the industry. The classes are culturally-sensitive, with the first program featuring Black teachers and bringing Afric-centric perspectives to the classroom.



The first class of 20 Black trainees saw a 100% graduation rate, with 13 of the students graduating with honours. Many will now go on to work on ships such as the HMCS William Hall, named for the famed Black Nova Scotian sailor and shipbuilder, who in 1859 became the first Black person to receive the Victoria Cross, awarded for bravery in his service with the Royal Navy.

Awards Recognitions

Awards and Recognition

Irving Shipbuilding believes in the future of shipbuilding in Canada and is committed to nurturing it – it's why we maintain strong investment in the training and education of 21st century shipbuilders. Our ongoing Pathways to the Shipbuilding program, which provides and supports access to groups of people under-represented in shipbuilding, received the federal government’s 2019 Employment Equity Achievement Award for Outstanding Commitment to Employment Equity.



These training programs are ongoing and continue to receive accolades, such as the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Award of Excellence. In addition to our skilled program graduates, our facility itself has been recognized as both a national historic site and for engineering excellence in the development of our new facility. At Irving Shipbuilding, we believe in achieving excellence in all we do.

Ruqaiyah Abdu-Allah
In May of my last year of high school, my mom asked me if I wanted to be a shipbuilder and told me about Pathways to Shipbuilding. At that point I didn’t even know what welding was. I had no idea what to expect, but it was awesome. All the students built such a strong bond and connection with each other and with our teachers, and I believe that’s what carried us through the program and let all of us succeed
Ruqaiyah Abdu-Allah

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