National Fisherman


British Columbia and Nova Scotia are shaking hands over an agreement to share training resources for Marine Service Technician apprenticeships.

The Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association, based in Halifax, will use training programs developed by Quadrant Marine Institute of Sidney, BC, for a new Marine Service Technician apprenticeship program being developed in support of an MST trade recently designated by the government of Nova Scotia.

Marine Service Technicians repair and maintain pleasure boats, yachts and light commercial vessels. They are trained in a wide range of trade skills involving everything from sailboat rigging to engine installations.

Quadrant has been delivering their MST apprenticeship (formerly Marine Repair Technician) since 1995 and currently provides their four year training package under contract with the Industry Training Authority in BC. Certified technicians can now be found employed in boatyards, marinas and boat building facilities across the province.

The NSBA, in partnership with NS Labour & Advanced Education, has offered a Boat Building apprenticeship in Nova Scotia since 2005, under a licensing agreement with New Zealand.  More recently the association has been working with their province to develop a new MST trade, which shares many common elements with the BC program.

“Training is critical to business success in this industry,” said Quadrant President, Campbell Black. “To have both east and west coasts collaborating on this much-needed program is a huge step forward.”

The need for more trained and highly skilled professionals in the industry has grown dramatically in recent years as the technologies for building and servicing pleasure and commercial craft becomes more complex. At the same time boat owners are demanding higher levels of quality from repair and maintenance facilities. Industry companies are struggling to keep up with the changes and have been suffering from a shortage of skilled workers.

“We’re very excited about this new partnership,” says Tim Edwards, NSBA Executive Director, “as the new MST apprenticeship program will give much-needed recognition to the existing workforce as well as help attract new workers to the industry.”

Under the three year east-west deal Quadrant will provide NSBA with curriculum materials, assessment tools and ongoing consulting expertise for the new program, which will be available to workers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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