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Program aims to give Indigenous people a shot at shipbuilding

Upon graduation of the program, 15 students will have a greater chance for employment in shipbuilding, specifically in pipe trades
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Irving Shipyard (Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding is partnering up with others to break down racial barriers in the industry.

After graduating many African Nova Scotians into the industry in June with the Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians program, the aim is to do the same for Indigenous tradespeople.

Upon graduation of the program, 15 students will have a greater chance for employment in shipbuilding, specifically in pipe trades which includes steamfitting and pipefitting, sprinkler systems and plumbing.

Designed to introduce and train underrepresented people in the shipbuilding industry, the latest program will provide Indigenous applicants with an 11-week course, formal studies and work terms at Irving.

Irving's communications director Tom Ormsby tells NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show that the shipbuilding company wants to be proactive in building representation in the industry.

"When you start to have more visible inclusion and diversity inside your workforce, role models emerge," said Ormsby. "Then people from those communities can see people from their own community at the shipyard or somewhere else inside and say I can do that too."

Indigenous people with a Canadian citizenship and a high school graduation or equivalency are eligible to apply.

Those interested can contact the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre at Pathways2021@gmail.com.

Supported by the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), GE Canada, Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, Indigenous Services Canada, and the Government of Nova Scotia, the latest Pathways to Shipbuilding program will begin in June 2021.


About the Author: Steve Gow

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