On May 6, 2019 the Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Canadians program received the Program Excellence Gold Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).
The CICan Awards of Excellence recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements. This year’s recipients were announced during the association’s annual conference in Niagara Falls on May 6.
Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Canadians is a partnership between Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), Irving Shipbuilding Inc., the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Unifor, GE Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Government that offers education, apprenticeship and career opportunities in the shipbuilding industry to Indigenous Canadians, who are historically underrepresented in the industry.
“Colleges and institutes are so successful thanks to passionate staff, teachers, researchers and administrators who work tirelessly to provide students with the skills and experience they need to succeed”, said Denise Amyot, President and CEO of CICan. “Every year, the CICan Awards of Excellence recognize these dedicated people who go above and beyond to make Canada’s post-secondary education the best in the world.”
The program involved a 14-week preparatory training program focused on personal and academic readiness, a Metal Fabrication Diploma program, mentoring and coaching by community and industry supporters, two work terms at Irving Shipbuilding, and upon graduation an opportunity for full-time employment at Irving’s Halifax Shipyard.
The twelve students in the Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Students program graduated with their diploma in Metal Fabrication on July 6, 2018 at NSCC and were offered full-time employment with Halifax Shipyard.
Irving Shipbuilding and partners have also supported two Pathways to Shipbuilding program for women with Women Unlimited and are currently supporting a Pathways to Shipbuilding program for African Nova Scotians with the East Preston Empowerment Academy. Students of this program are scheduled to graduate from NSCC in 2020.
“We’re focused on training and hiring the best shipbuilders to build Canada’s future fleet,” said Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. “Participants in the program will become role models for future shipbuilders from their communities.”