Apprenticeship Skills Coaches

As the largest single employer of apprentices in Atlantic Canada, Irving Shipbuilding is proud to support the development of apprentices into skilled shipbuilders through a dedicated Apprenticeship Program.

The capabilities of the Apprenticeship Program have recently grown with the addition of a new role: Skills Coach. Unique to Irving Shipbuilding, apprentices are paired with a Skills Coach to help them develop in their trade. Skills Coaches will coach, mentor and complete training activities such as baseline assessments, skills matrices, and Red Seal exam preparation with each apprentice. Every apprentice will receive support that fits their individual learning needs. Five journeypersons are paving the way in this new position with the focus on supporting our apprentices in their journey to obtaining their Red Seal certification.

Our team of over 2,100 shipbuilders includes more than 230 apprentices across five skilled trades. A strong Apprenticeship Program at Irving Shipbuilding will support the goals of Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy and develop skilled, engaged workers who take pride in building ships for Canada.

Irving Shipbuilding’s Apprenticeship Program is supported by our partners who are committed to developing apprentices in Nova Scotia. We are pleased to partner with Unifor Marine Workers Federation Local 1, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA), and Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) as we continue to build a robust apprenticeship program.

“Sharing knowledge and my experiences has always been a passion of mine. I’m looking forward to working with apprentices and seeing the positive impact that myself and the other Skills Coaches will have on their overall apprenticeship and career here at Irving Shipbuilding” says Jason Savoie, Metal Fabrication Skills Coach.

Since starting their roles in February, our Skills Coaches have already made a positive impact on apprentices. So far this year, 60 apprentices have earned their Red Seal, exceeding our 2021 record of 51 Red Seal achievements. Their appointment is an investment in our future workforce and helps us to further develop our apprenticeship program.

Our Apprenticeship team have established best practices in safety and quality to place Canadian shipbuilders among the top in the world. In October 2021, our apprenticeship program won the NSAA Award of Excellence.

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