Inside the Atlantic Canada Shipbuilding Action Plan

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In a bid to inform small and medium sized companies to tap into Atlantic Canada's $33-billion naval fleet renewal, the Government has launched the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan, a long-term strategy that will facilitate the integration of Atlantic Canadian enterprises, including the construction of the Navy’s combat vessels by Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Plan will evolve as necessary to ensure it continues to address the ongoing needs of small and medium-sized enterprises in Atlantic Canada and their requirement for skilled workers. It will require a close collaboration with all four Atlantic provincial governments, Atlantic small and medium-sized enterprises s, industry associations, prime contractors, economic development organizations, educational and research institutes, and other federal departments.
 
The Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan is designed to:
1. Inform Small and Medium-sized Enterprises about the business opportunities
One of the Plan’s key objectives is to ensure that Atlantic Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises are fully informed of the process and requirements for accessing work.
Many companies in Atlantic Canada may not be aware they can take advantage of this opportunity, or may perceive they are too young or too small to be involved. These procurements are a unique opportunity to foster a new generation of entrepreneurs in all four Atlantic Provinces, to acquire the expertise to compete on the world scene.
 
The Action Plan includes:
Engaging with business associations to build awareness among Atlantic businesses of the opportunities for accessing work;
Working with small and medium-sized enterprises to help identify needs;
Conducting research and analysis to broaden understanding of the global marine supply chain and supplier requirements, including certification;
Holding supplier development sessions in every Atlantic province;
Holding an Atlantic Marine Industry Forum;
Showcasing, on an ongoing basis, Atlantic businesses to industry through industry tours, information sessions and networking events.
 
2. Ensure access to Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s programs
To help maximize the benefits for the Atlantic region, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will use its flexible suite of tools and programming to proactively support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises to help them capitalize on economic development opportunities related to the shipbuilding procurements.
 
Programs such as the Atlantic Innovation Fund, the Business Development Program, the International Business Development Agreement, the Innovative Communities Fund and the Community Futures Program (Community Business Development Corporations) can facilitate, among other activities:
- Investing in business modernizations and expansions;
- Enhancing business and worker skills;
- Improving business productivity through the adoption of existing technologies;
- Commercializing new technologies;
- Acquiring the necessary business certifications;
- Developing international business relationships;
- Supporting communities in developing sector strategies aimed at attracting and expanding businesses at the local level;
- Financing and business counseling to small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas, better positioning them to benefit from potential shipbuilding procurement opportunities.
 
3. Develop a Skilled Labor Force
This Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan also aims to engage the four Atlantic provincial governments, universities and community colleges in developing skills and labour force planning and research. Atlantic Canada is home to an extensive network of world class universities and community colleges that have proven instrumental in working with industry to ensure that required education and training is locally available. In some cases, companies work directly with community colleges to design courses. As well, since this is a 20 to 30 year strategy, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will want to work with its partners in addressing labor supply issues, gaps and trends.
 
4. Organize and Deliver Supplier Development Sessions
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and J.D. Irving are scheduling supplier development sessions across the region to provide Atlantic small and medium-sized enterprises with information on the shipbuilding initiative and marine supply chains. These sessions are being held as follows:
- Bathurst, New Brunswick Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Danny’s Inn 13:00 – 17:30
- Moncton, New Brunswick Thursday, February 23, 2012 Future Inn 08:00 – 12:30
- Summerside, Prince Edward Island Monday, February 27, 2012 Loyalist Inn 08:00 – 12:30
- Truro, Nova Scotia Friday, March 2, 2012 Glengary Best Western Hotel 08:00 – 12:30
- St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador Monday, March 5, 2012 Geocentre 08:00 – 12:30
- Shelburne, Nova Scotia Monday, March 12, 2012 Osprey Arts Centre 08:00 – 12:30
 
Information:
New Brunswick
Regional Office 570 Queen Street, 3rd Floor PO Box 578 Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada E3B 5A6 (Courier Address: E3B 6Z6) General Enquiries: 506-452-3184 Facsimile: 506-452-3285 Toll Free: 1-800-561-4030
 
Newfoundland and Labrador
Regional Office John Cabot Building, 11th Floor 10 Barter's Hill PO Box 1060 STN C St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada A1C 5M5 (Courier Address: A1C 6M1) General Enquiries: 709-772-2751 Facsimile: 709-772-2712 Toll Free: 1-800-668-1010
 
Nova Scotia
Regional Office 1801 Hollis Street, Suite 600 PO Box 2284 STN C Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B3J 3C8 (Courier Address: B3J 3N4) General Enquiries: 902-426-6743 Facsimile: 902-426-2054 Toll Free: 1-800-565-1228
 
Prince Edward Island
Regional Office Royal Bank Building, 3rd floor 100 Sydney Street PO Box 40 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Canada C1A 7K2 (Courier Address: C1A 1G3) General Enquiries: 902-566-7492 Facsimile: 902-566-7098 Toll Free: 1-800-871-2596 http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca 
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