NSCC Nautical Institute’s 2023 Marine Skills Competition celebrated cadets and alumni who play a vital role in the Canadian marine industry.

PORT HAWKESBURY: The Nova Scotia Community College’s Nautical institute capped off its 150 anniversary celebrations this year at its annual Marine Skills Gala Dinner.

Providing special recognition to alumni, cadets, faculty, and staff, academic chair John-Suresh Selvaraj reflected on how far marine training has come and congratulated attendees for their role in all that’s been accomplished.

“At NSCC we believe in a Holistic approach that caters to Seafarer’s general well being, workplace culture, and mental health. This is key to addressing the safety and training challenges brought by decarbonization, digitalization, and automation of maritime processes. Recently, we developed Sea Change, an online course for industry providing training to help ensure a welcoming for all on board from a female and indigenous perspective. We also launched our new electro technical program and high voltage course to meet changing industry needs.”

Contributed photos
The NSCC Nautical Institute has 37 women training for careers at sea in navigation and engineering. Pictured are cadets participating in the Marine Skills Competition.

According to the Nautical Institute, marine programs are an excellent choice for high pay, work life balance with time off, and job security.

“Transport Canada states that over the next 10 years, more than 40 per cent of the industry’s employees will retire,” said keynote speaker, Alumni Sean Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer Atlantic Pilotage Authority. “This means marine companies will need to hire nearly 20,000 more just to keep up with the demand. Cadets today have an incredibly robust future with endless possibilities.”

NSCC Alumni Sean Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, was the keynote speaker at the gala on March 15.

Brooke Cameron, Algoma’s Senior Manager of Fleet Personnel, agrees.

“There’s a huge shortage of seafarers in Canada,” she noted. “We’re always hiring. Algoma has a long history of NSCC cadets joining us for placements on our dry bulk carries and tankers. It’s a great opportunity for them to gain experience on large vessels.”

The 2023 marine skills winning team “Fish and Chips” was gifted back packs by Algoma.

In response to advancing technology and Transport Canada regulations, NSCC recently launched the first Electro-technical officer program in Canada which is designed to train electricians for vessels becoming increasingly advanced in their electrical systems.

“We’re anxious to hire ETO cadets for their sea placements,” said Francois LePlante, Senior Training Specialist CSL (Canadian Shipping Lines) as he spoke to students in the Electrical Construction and Industrial program at the Strait Area Campus.

CSL was one of 18 marine companies and organizations on campus for the Marine Skills and Career Fair earlier this month. Recruiters delivered presentations and conducted more than 120 interviews for Cadet’s upcoming sea placements.

Tiffany O’Donnel, a fourth year Marine Engineering cadet said a career at sea is a good choice.

“I initially chose to start a career at sea simply for the high demand, and salary aspect. After completing three sea terms sailing on bulk carriers, I’ve come to realize working on the water is exactly what I’ve been looking for in a career,” she said. “Days can be challenging and unpredictable, yet exciting and fulfilling. You will have a sense of pride in what you do. Having half of the year off as opposed to the usual two weeks’ vacation I was allowed at my old 9-5 job is also a major plus. If you have a drive for unforgettable experiences, learning new things each day, and a truly unique lifestyle, then I’d definitely recommend you join us on the water.”

For more information on careers at sea and marine training programs visit: nscc.ca/careersatsea.

At the Nautical Institute’s career fair, companies from across Canada met with marine navigation and engineering cadets.