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Canadian Foundation launched to promote marine careers

2020-01-29 Ottawa, ON – The marine shipping industry has joined forces with the federal government to launch the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation (CMIF), to promote careers in the marine sector and help alleviate labour shortages, it was formally announced on January 28.

Maritime workforce recruitment and retention has become an increasing challenge with positions going unfilled both on ships and ashore. The marine sector has been hit by a combination of factors including more outgoing retirees than new recruits joining, skills shortages and a lack of awareness by the public of the rewarding careers available.

The CMIF is an initiative conceived and developed by Canada’s private and public sector marine stakeholders, including the Ottawa-based industry association Chamber of Marine Commerce, and the federal government under the direction of Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

The foundation aims to expand its membership to include private and public entities from all coasts in Canada. It will present opportunities for engagement, resource sharing and also direct financial contribution.

One of the CMIF’s first initiatives in 2020 will be to launch a digital campaign to raise awareness of the industry so it can continue to attract the skilled labour, trades and accredited professionals needed to steer the industry forward.  The campaign will ask Canadians to Imagine Marine and start a conversation to spark the imagination of youth to consider careers in an industry with a tradition and future like no other.  A new web-based career resource will be designed to inform, direct and support workforce candidates with academic and career information.

The CMIF will not replace or duplicate individual company or departmental recruitment efforts but rather act as a clearing house or one-stop resource that provides the broader picture of everything the marine sector has to offer.

“The marine sector is a key part of our transportation system; therefore, it is important that we do everything to ensure key jobs are filled,” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. “Transport Canada is a proud member of the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation, a unique forum to address recruitment challenges faced by both the industry and the Government of Canada, which promote the marine sector as a career of choice.”

“The Canadian Coast Guard is honoured to be a founding member of the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation. It’s integral that the marine sector has a thriving workforce – from entry level straight through to experienced professionals.  This initiative will help showcase the exciting and varied  positions that exist ashore and afloat that satisfy a wide range of interests and goals,” said Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“Many or our members have identified workforce development as their number one challenge. This is an opportunity to take a more strategic national approach to let Canadians know that marine is a dynamic, modern sector commited to innovation, sustainable best prsctices and ongoing skills development. The new generation of marine professionals will be delivering everything from artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and cleaner energy to commercial trade, community transportation and coastal protection and surveillance,” said Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. (Photo Comité Sectoriel Maritime)