Pathways to Shipbuilding wins Employment Equity Award


Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is a proud recipient of the 2019 Employment Equity Achievement Award for Outstanding Commitment to Employment Equity. Originally scheduled to be presented in March, at an awards gala in Ottawa, the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A certificate signed by the Honorable Filomena Tassi, federal Minister of Labour, was recently delivered to Halifax Shipyard.

The award, given by Employment and Social Development Canada, recognizes employers that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to their employment equity plans by instituting measures to remove barriers and establish positive policies and practices. Irving Shipbuilding developed the Pathways to Shipbuilding programs as a commitment to equitable training and hiring practices, with the intent to increase hiring from under-represented groups in the shipbuilding industry.

Irving Shipbuilding has worked with key community partners to develop three unique Pathways programs to date: Pathways to Shipbuilding Women Unlimited, Pathways to Shipbuilding for Mi’kmaw and Indigenous People and Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians.

Tyrell Young, a graduate of the first ever Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians program, class of 2020

The programs provides participants with a preparatory course, a two-year trades diploma at NSCC and the opportunity for graduates to work in the shipbuilding industry, for many, as the first shipbuilders in their family.

A second Pathways to Shipbuilding Women Unlimited class graduated in 2019, and a second generation Pathways to Shipbuilding for Mi'kmaw and Indigenous People will begin June 2021.

Julia Boyle graduated with the second Pathways to Shipbuilding Women Unlimited class in 2019

This impact is made possible by community involvement and our partnership with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), through the Irving Centre of Excellence. As a part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Irving Centre of Excellence was established to respond to the growing need for skilled workers and a more diverse workforce available to build ships for Canada.

Irving Shipbuilding is committed to creating an environment where people and teamwork are valued and each person feels welcome and secure.

The award will be displayed at Halifax Shipyard, where our 2,000 shipbuilders are building Canada’s future fleet for the Royal Canadian Navy.

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