VANCOUVER — Seaspan Shipyards plans to invest $1.35 million to boost training and apprenticeship opportunities for Indigenous students.
The funding will target students aged 19 through 30 interested in building a career in the trades, including in the shipbuilding and marine sector.
The funds will be spent over three years through the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS), a non-profit organization that has been providing education and employment training for the urban Indigenous community since 1999.
The funds will support skills upgrading and technical training in welding and metal fabrication through the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Starting next year, the funds will help create a Trades Sampler Program to introduce Indigenous high school students in five Lower Mainland districts to career opportunities in the trades. Seaspan’s investment will also support an annual $25,000 Seaspan Student Scholarship fund.
This investment is part of Seaspan’s ongoing partnership with the ACCESS organization. Since 2016, Seaspan has invested more than $4.3 million in ACCESS as a part of Seaspan’s value proposition commitment under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.
“Having a continuous pipeline of skilled trades is fundamental to shipbuilding, and programs like ACCESS play a critical role in developing that talent pool,” said Seaspan CEO Mark Lamarre in a statement. “We hope this investment will enable young urban Indigenous students to pursue new and exciting career opportunities in the growing marine industry in British Columbia.”