The B.C. government is investing in a partnership that will expand economic opportunities for the industrial marine sector. Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Amrik Virk announced the agreement while providing the keynote speech today, on behalf of Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond, at the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries’ (ABCMI) Annual General Meeting.
The $200,000 B.C. Industrial Marine Project will identify factors that will better define opportunities and enhance the industries’ ability for greater sector growth.
The goals of the project are to develop a baseline assessment and estimate of the marine sector’s economic impact, identify opportunities for marine sector growth for the near and long term, and serve as a platform to support increased productivity and competiveness for future industrial marine activities.
Through the BC Jobs Plan, the Province has identified advanced manufacturing as a key sector that will see significant growth opportunities for B.C. Industrial marine is a component of this sector that can capture lasting economic benefit from current and future marine opportunities such as the federal National Shipbuilding Strategy. This sub-sector is estimated to include over five hundred companies that range in size from single person owner/operators to businesses with over 1,500 employees.
Additional support that the Province has already provided to the marine sector include:
- The BC Shipbuilding Tax Credit eligible for employers in the shipbuilding and repair sector to encourage job creation for apprentices.
- $193,000 through the sector Labour Market Partnerships program (LMP), to the Vancouver International Maritime Centre (VIMC) to lead the BC Shipping Industry Labour Market Situation Analysis, and to ABCMI to lead the BC Industrial Marine Sector Engagement Project.
- $150,000 from the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund to the West Coast Wave Initiative at the University of Victoria to support research into the potential of ocean waves to generate clean, renewable and affordable electricity.
The industrial marine sector can capture lasting economic benefit for the Province by creating sustainable jobs, while simultaneously increasing its capacity for marine research and international trade. Already, the sector is part of a robust manufacturing sector with over 7,200 manufacturing companies employing 172,500 British Columbians and contributes $15 billion to the provincial economy.
Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services –
“Since we launched the BC Jobs Plan five years ago, B.C. has become the national leader in job creation and economic growth. Partnerships, like the ones we’re developing with ABCMI, help create sustainable employment and increase our economic potential in key sectors of the BC Jobs Plan. Our plan is working, and we’re going to continue to put British Columbians first.”
Mark Dixon, president Babcock Canada Inc. and president of the ABCMI –
“ABCMI is bringing together different subsectors of the marine industry to work as a collective whole to leverage the benefits of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This strategy, supported by our provincial government, is bringing stability and continuity to the waterfront. Local ship-owners are investing in new technologies, new vessels, and innovative ways to operate. New cargo and passenger vessels are approaching our shores. Innovative new technologies, such as liquefied natural gas fuelled vessels, are nearly here. These developments bode well for the health and vibrancy of our sector.”
- Since its establishment in July 2016, ABCMI has grown to include 91 members.
- ABCMI membership includes representation across the industrial marine sector including shipbuilding, refit, and ship repair; small craft marine; marine products; ocean science and technology; marine industrial services; and marine professional services.
- With an estimated $10 billion in new investment and thousands of new jobs expected by 2020; shipbuilding, ship repair, and industrial marine sector growth is a key part of the BC Jobs Plan.
- The National Shipbuilding Strategy is expected to contribute billions to the provincial economy through 2020. The first National Shipbuilding Strategy vessel is expected out of the Seaspan dockyard and in the water by June 2017.
- The governments of B.C. and Canada contributed $582,000 to Seaspan Shipyards through the Canada-BC Job Grant, in May 2015, to help workers gain shipbuilding skills.
- BC Budget 2015 announced contributions of $3 million over three years for the Vancouver International Maritime Centre (VIMC). The VIMC promotes B.C. to the international shipping industry as a maritime centre and enhances the development of the international shipping sector including support services, in BC and Canada.
To find out more about ABCMI’s Sector Labour Market Partnerships project, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016JTST0171-001846
To find out more about Previous ICE funding, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016MEM0023-001935
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan, visit: engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan
To find out more about the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries, visit: http://abcmi.ca/