Sept10_PathwaysOrientationDay (1).jpg

Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians

Collaboration between industry, government, academia and community have led to an education and pre-apprenticeship program in welding for African Nova Scotian students. The program, offered through the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence with NSCC and East Preston Empowerment Academy (EPEA), is designed to offer successful students the opportunity to build a lasting career in shipbuilding. Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians aims to help increase the number of African Nova Scotian welding apprentices at Irving Shipbuilding.

Current Program Partners:

Irving Shipbuilding Inc.
Nova Scotia Community College
East Preston Empowerment Academy
Government of Nova Scotia

·       Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

·       Labour and Advanced Education

·       African Nova Scotian Affairs                                                                                                  

CWB Welding Foundation
NSCC Foundation
YMCA Employment Centre



The program has an Afrocentric* cultural perspective, beginning with a 14-week program that includes personal and professional readiness, academic refreshers, and essential skills training with career exploration focused on welding and metal trades. Upon successful completion of the readiness program and the career exploration phase, students will transition into the Welding Diploma program offered at NSCC’s Akerley Campus. Welding was chosen as the focus of the program as there is expected demand at Irving Shipbuilding for graduates in this skilled trade. Upon graduation from the Welding Diploma program, if the student meets the hiring requirements for Irving Shipbuilding, they will be hired as apprentices as positions become available at the Halifax Shipyard.


*The Afrocentric cultural perspective for this program will assist with the further involvement of the adult learners’ spiritual, emotional and psychological well-being, those soft skills that help to facilitate the teaching and learning of essential employability skills.



In a recent interview, Kevin McCoy, the President of Irving Shipbuilding, points out that the Pathways to Shipbuilding program brings top talent and skills to the Halifax Shipyard:

"As Canada’s National Shipbuilder, we hire the best shipbuilders to join our team building Canada’s future naval fleet at Halifax Shipyard. To do this we need more individuals from groups currently underrepresented in shipbuilding. This Pathways to Shipbuilding program will create opportunities for African Nova Scotians to learn a trade and establish a path to a long-term career proudly building ships for Canada."



The program integrates education, industry and community partnerships to develop a model that successfully creates pathways for African Nova Scotians to enter the shipbuilding industry. Participants learn and work together, and are mentored and coached by community and industry supporters, including African Nova Scotian employees working at the Halifax Shipyard.



Successful graduates who meet employment eligibility criteria will be employed by Irving Shipbuilding at the end of the diploma program as positions become available in 2020 and beyond.

Entrance Requirements:

  • Complete application including providing all required documents

  • Students must meet NSCC admissions requirements. (If High School Diploma has IPP, then further testing is required by NSCC to qualify admission)

  • Students should self-identify as African Nova Scotian

  • All applications and required documents must be received by: 6/1/2018

Get in touch with any questions:
(902) 434-2255