Maritime in-service support capabilities demands a diverse and skilled workforce with a range of technical competencies capable of responding to complex maintenance and repair work.  Ensuring this talent is available and prepared to support the supply chain maintaining these new naval platforms is the goal of a new agreement between Thales Canada and its partners in education and government announced at DEFSEC 2018.

To better identify and respond to workforce training requirements, and as part of its commitments on the AJISS program, Thales Canada has signed an agreement with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), in partnership with Camosun College in British Columbia, to complete a bi-coastal analysis of the in-service support supply chain. Thales is the prime contractor for Canada’s AJISS program that will support the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

“Talent drives innovation, and our government is committed to supporting workers develop the skills needed to lead an innovative nation,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.  “These investments will help our shipbuilding industry create more jobs for Canadian workers and continue to grow our economy.”  

The first step under this agreement is a work force study that will provide insight into the marine in-service supply chains and inform industry and the colleges’ approach as they develop new and enhanced programming to assist with supplier competencies, respond to technology advancement and build an innovative, competitive and diverse workforce of the future.

“We are committed to supporting the digital transformation of in-service support capabilities as part of the AJISS program, relying upon the creation of a robust Canadian supply chain, said Mark Halinaty, President & CEO, Thales Canada. “Working together with post-secondary institutions to develop a diverse, skilled, productive and ready workforce is a key ingredient to ensuring that these vessels are mission-ready, where and when they are needed, from coast to coast to coast.”

The two colleges have a long history in the development and delivery of marine programming and training.  

NSCC President Don Bureaux says, “The College’s mission is to help grow the province’s economy and quality of life through education and innovation, one learner at a time. Working with industry and post-secondary partners in identifying needs helps guide our work in support of the immense growth within this vital sector – growth which will take us through a generation of work.” He adds, “Charting a course to support the skills needs within that scope of work is important in preparing our students for emerging labour force opportunities. It’s exciting in this case to have a coast-to-coast perspective and sharing of resources through this partnership.”

“Camosun is committed to ensuring the long term sustainability of marine sector training on Canada's west coast,” says Camosun College President Sherri Bell.  “This partnership is a first step to developing a national strategy for the marine training sector and we are immensely proud to be working with ISED, Thales and NSCC on this important project.”  

DEFSEC Atlantic is the second largest Aerospace, Defence and Security industry conference in Canada. Focused on showcasing Atlantic Canadian opportunities, the show also incorporating elements of both a trade show and a defence procurement conference, attracting leading industry from across Canada.