Underrepresented groups in the marine industry sea future thanks to partnership with BCIT

Underrepresented groups in the marine industry sea future thanks to partnership with BCIT

Photo of SeaBus sailing in the Burrard Inlet

Recently, eager students in BCIT’s Enhanced Bridge Watch Rating Program visited SeaBus to gain a better understanding of what a career in the marine sector looks like.

“Thanks to a coordinated effort between TransLink HR, CMBC, and BCIT, we were able to welcome ten students from underrepresented groups, specifically women and Indigenous people,” says SeaBus Operations Manager Jag Gill who joined SeaBus as a Marine Attendant in 2008. “Keeping safety as our top priority, we visited the passenger deck, the wheelhouse, and the engine room. We also gave them a rundown of SeaBus operations, a brief history of SeaBus, details about our fleet, and the different Marine positions at SeaBus.”

Jag also shared his love for what he does: “I told them it’s a great field to be in, and how I visited almost 60 countries during my 20-year career, which is amazing.”

The program, funded by Transport Canada under the Oceans Protection Plan, is a 17-week full-time entry-level enhanced program that provides an opportunity for specific underrepresented groups (women and Indigenous peoples) to achieve rewarding marine careers.

A student who graduates from the program has all the prerequisites needed to become a SeaBus Marine Attendant.

“Women represent only two per cent of the world’s seafarer Marine industry,” says the Operations Manager, “And at SeaBus, women make up 17 per cent of our staff. So, we have much higher representation than in other parts of the industry.”

During the day, the class had the opportunity to meet female Marine Attendants and Deb Bur, who works as a trainer at SeaBus. The group asked myriad questions about shifts, wages, and what kind of work is done on the vessels.

“Meeting with our on-duty staff was really beneficial for them, because it normally takes a newcomer a few weeks to get all that information,” said Jag who further added, “The SeaBus team did a phenomenal job showcasing our Marine Services, and the feedback from BCIT and the students was really positive, so we hope to keep doing this going forward.”

Photo of BCIT Students taking part in the SeaBus partnership

Graduate names:
• Shelly-Ann Campbell
• Derek Dudoward
• Valerie Miller
• Faith Terry
• Rachel Thompson
• Michelle Harvey
• Ceara McGee
• Keara Shephard
• Melynda Petersen