VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The provincial NDP says it’s an example of BC’s failure to train our workers.
Seaspan is looking for help from overseas as the company prepares to deliver on a multi-billion dollar shipbuilding contract.
Seaspan confirms it’s looking to places like the UK to fill senior jobs.
Provincial New Democrat Harry Bains blames the BC Liberal government. “Companies are having to go outside of BC and Canada to find skilled labour in order to do the projects here in British Columbia. It is our job to train and give the opportunity to our people, our students, our youth.”
Bains accuses the province of failing to give British Columbians the right opportunity. “They don’t see the foresight of training these people so that those skills will stay here and as a result of that, we will have more jobs attracted to BC, more investment coming to BC.”
The BC government insists skills training is a priority.
The provincial Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Ministry says the government is investing a record $1.9 billion in post-secondary training, and more than $500 million annually in employment supports and skills training so British Columbians are first in line for jobs.
The ministry also says the province and Seaspan have a shared goal of creating a sustainable shipbuilding industry in BC.
Seaspan Shipyards President Brian Carter says the lack of consistent shipbuilding in the country has meant having to look elsewhere to fill some jobs. “Where the position requires good shipbuilding experience, we have to get that from different parts of the world.”
Carter says the company still intends to hire locally for many jobs. “Where we can just hire high potential, smart people from the local market, we do that every time.”
Seaspan expects to start on the first ship this coming October.
The federal government has said its shipbuilding strategy will create more than 15-thousand jobs across the country over the next three decades.