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Meet Kent Avery, Red Seal Welder

For young trades workers breaking into a new industry, support and mentorship are key. That was the case nearly 40 years ago when Kent Avery began his career building ships, and it’s the case today as he repays the favour to the next generation of shipbuilders at Halifax Shipyard.

Kent is a Red Seal welder who began his shipbuilding career in his home province of Prince Edward Island. He enjoyed his time at these shipyards, but eventually wanted a bigger challenge. That’s how he found his way to Irving Shipbuilding.

“When I came here, I didn’t know what I was getting into, but it didn’t take long to find out that these guys are more than willing to help if there were any issues. And they did.”

This tradition of welcoming the next generation is longstanding at Halifax Shipyard. Kent was quickly integrated into his team, finding the help and support he needed along the way. Now, with 40 years of experience under his belt, Kent helps make sure that new welders are welcomed with open arms onto the team tasked with building ships for the Royal Canadian Navy.

“I know how I felt when I was younger coming into the trade. It’s nice to help somebody that’s younger. It’s gratifying to be able to do that.” 

Kent says the main reason he has stayed at Irving Shipbuilding so long is because of his team. “If you need questions answered or help to do a project, everybody gets together and gets the job done. The crew becomes your family. There is always help when you need it.”

Having amassed an incredible amount of skill and expertise throughout his time at Irving Shipbuilding, Kent is more than generous with his time and knowledge. It’s no surprise you can often hear crew members saying, “Kent will know how to do it.”


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