Camosun program aimed at coastal communities

Coastal Skills Initiative will equip students with skills to work in marine industry

Seaspan Victoria Shipyards is one of the founding partners of Camosun’s new Coastal Skills Initiative. Last month

A new program that addresses the needs of coastal communities and industries could be the harbinger of a larger shift in orientation of Camosun College.

Vaughn Watson, director of the TRADEmark of Excellence Campaign, says the college’s Coastal Skills Initiative, worth an estimated $1 million, will educate students in their specific trade, then provide them with additional training that will equip them with the skills to work in the marine industry.

“We need to focus on things that make the coasts more sustainable and prosperous,” said Watson.

Graduates, he said, could be working on a wide range of marine-related projects. They could include rebuilding sub-standard housing in remote coastal communities, building and maintaining marine infrastructure or working with the latest technology to help keep British Columbian coastlines safe.

So what accounts for the initiative? “Geography dictates it,” said Watson, pointing to Victoria’s maritime location and related industries that stand to benefit from Canada’s national ship building program.

One way or another, maritime traffic along the B.C. coast will likely increase and the initiative will help towards the training of ship crews and officers for ferries, escort tugs and response vessels, said Watson.

Finally, the program also focuses on “establishing a gateway for under-represented groups,” especially First Nations, since the majority of B.C. coast is either First Nation land or the traditional territory of indigenous peoples.

Funding for the initiative comes from a wide variety of sources, including a combined $300,000 from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Seaspan, $200,000 worth of equipment from B.C. Ferries, $150,000 from the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation, and $50,000 from the Ralmax Group of Companies.

This program is a great fit for the Ralmax Group of Companies, founding partner in the Coastal Skills Initiative, said Ian Maxwell, president and CEO.

“First, we know first-hand the many community benefits provided by the marine industry, given that we’ve got a number of marine-related companies like Point Hope Maritime,” he said in a release.  “We applaud an initiative that’s going to increase awareness of coastal issues as well as connect people to the many skilled work opportunities that exist in B.C.’s marine industry.”

Watson said coastal issues could play a bigger role outside the trade programs. They could play an increasingly important role in the college’s arts, health and business course programming, he said.

“It gives a unique focus to what we want to accomplish as a Vancouver Island college,” he said.

This said, he does not want to leave the impression that this will be the entire focus of the college.

 

Just Posted

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

5-a-side soccer field, mascot reveal, jersey pick up in Bastion Square and waterfront lot Saturday

Island cycling series boosts youth race schedule

New series creates opportunity for more youth competition

Colwood wins award for Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan

Plan wins Award of Excellence in Government Finance

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read