Frequently Asked Questions

WHO IS THE SSRB?

BC’s Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Board (SSRB) is the unified voice of the shipbuilding and ship repair sector of British Columbia. The SSRB includes senior representatives from industry, labour, and government who work collaboratively to implement a workforce strategy to ensure a highly skilled workforce for the industry.

WHY WAS THE SSRB CREATED?

In 2011, Premier Christy Clark created the BC Shipbuilding and Repair Industry Workforce Table to work with industry to capitalize on the $8 billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy contract awarded to Seaspan, as well as several other major shipbuilding and ship repair projects in British Columbia.

The SSRB was created by the industry to take over the work of the Workforce Table and former BC. Shipbuilding & Repair Industry HR Committee; and to provide industry leadership, coordination and integration of cross-industry workforce development, technology and process development, and industry development projects.

WHY IS THE NSPS IMPORTANT TO BRITISH COLUMBIA?

BC.’s shipbuilding and ship repair industry’s predicted investment boom will have a direct, positive impact on BC’s economy over the next decade. The NSPS program has the potential to inject billions into the local economy, and annual revenues in BC’s shipbuilding and repair industry are projected to climb from an average $265 million (2004-2010) to over $1.4 billion by 2018.

HOW MANY NEW JOBS WILL BE CREATED?

BC’s shipbuilding and repair industry is in a prime position to provide long-term, well-paying jobs along with new careers for many people in the foreseeable future. Early estimates suggest that, between today and 2020, well over 4,000 direct and indirect jobs will become available.

WHERE WILL THESE JOBS BE LOCATED?

The majority of hiring will take place on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

WHAT WORKFORCE ISSUES WILL THE SSRB ADDRESS?

The NSPS presents BC’s shipbuilding and ship repair industry with the opportunity to revitalize the shipbuilding industry on Canada’s west coast. However, rapid industry growth and the shift towards new vessel construction will test the industry’s ability to acquire and retain a skilled and knowledgeable workforce to meet the demands. Since its inception, the SSRB has been working closely with industry partners to address the sector-wide challenges of competition for workers at all skill levels, the diminishing supply of young workers, projected skill gaps across the sector, lack of marine-specific training and upgrading opportunities for new and existing workers, and the lack of awareness of career opportunities within the shipbuilding sector.

WHAT WILL THE SSRB ACCOMPLISH?

The overall objective of the SSRB is to ensure that the sector has the right numbers of workers, with the right skills, in the right locations, and at the right times to support productivity and technology transfer, and to enable the sector’s expansion, competitiveness and sustainability.

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIES OF THE SSRB?

As part of its Shipbuilding and Ship Repair HR Strategy, the SSRB has identified the following initial priorities to guide its work:
  • Develop and maintain a communication plan to announce, communicate about and report on progress of the BC Shipbuilding and Ship Repair HR Strategy to British Columbians and others.
  • Develop and execute an Aboriginal engagement strategy.
  • Encourage more employers in BC’s shipbuilding & repair industry to provide apprenticeship training opportunities and support apprentices in completing their programs.
  • Develop a sustained and coordinated career promotional campaign targeted at promoting
    shipbuilding and repair career pathways to K-12 students, youth and influencers (i.e. educators, parents, peers, and media).
  • Develop common language and nomenclature and definitions (a matrix) of shipbuilding and ship repair occupations.

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE EFFORTS OF THE SSRB?

The SSRB will help British Columbia develop a competitive shipbuilding and ship repair industry. The NSPS award translates to substantial overall economic growth for the province, and the ability to sustain over 4,000 – 5,000 jobs throughout the life of the project. In addition to the direct jobs and economic benefits, it is expected the nearly three-decade program will have a ripple effect throughout the BC economy, impacting technical training facilities, spurring new technological innovation and creating new business opportunities and partnerships.

Communities, including Aboriginal Peoples, will benefit from the positive impacts this project has on a wide range of BC businesses and industries outside direct shipbuilding. Employers, industry workers and students will benefit from increased career opportunities, enhanced training programs, increased job mobility and succession opportunities in a stable industry, as well as training and other labour tax credits that will be offered to eligible marine industry employers.

HOW WILL THE SSRB HELP THE SHIPBUILDING AND SHIP REPAIR SECTOR?

The sector will benefit directly from the implementation of an industry-wide human resource strategy to raise the awareness and attractiveness of the West Coast’s lucrative shipbuilding and repair industry, and increase recruitment, retention and training strategies across the sector.

IS THERE A ROLE I CAN PLAY IN THE SSRB?

We are interested in bringing new resources to this project and engaging stakeholders from the broader community. If you would like to participate in this project, or require more information, please email the SSRB at: info@weareshipbuilders.ca.

WHO FUNDS THE SSRB?

Funding for this project is provided through the Canada-BC Labour Market Development Agreement, specifically the Labour Market Partnerships (LMP) Program of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.

HOW CAN I STAY INFORMED ON THE CAMPAIGN’S PROGRESS?

There are a number of ways to stay informed:

WHAT KINDS OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES WILL THE INDUSTRY GROWTH CREATE?

There are many Career opportunities in the Shipbuilding Sector:
  • Boilermaker
  • Carpenter
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Electric Motor Systems Technician
  • Heavy Duty Mechanic
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Joiner
  • Machinist
  • Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Metal Fabricator or Shipfitter
  • Millwright
  • Painter and Decorator
  • Pipefitter or Steamfitter
  • Plumber
  • Sandblaster
  • Shipyard Labourer
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Welder

WHEN WILL HIRING COMMENCE?

Hiring to meet the needs of the expanding Shipbuilding industry will take place gradually over time, and will steadily increase towards the end of the decade. Hiring for some senior level management, project management and engineering positions started earlier this year by Seaspan.

HOW CAN I GET A JOB IN THIS INDUSTRY?

Career tools and information on employment within shipbuilding can be found on this website.

Please visit the following links for more information on shipbuilding jobs: