Seaspan Shipyards has kicked in $75,000 to support the B.C. Tech Association’s Digital Lift internship program that has been designed to draw new people into the tech sector.
Seaspan’s infusion — $75,000 spread over three years — will be used in part to diversify the pool of tech talent in the province to meet the looming demand for technology skills across sectors like the marine industry.
“Advanced digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3-D visualization, and digital twinning are revolutionizing how we build and maintain ships,” said Seaspan vice-president Dave Hargreaves.
“Seaspan Shipyards is pleased to participate in the Digital Lift program, which will help develop tech talent that we will need in the future as the marine industry continues its exciting digital transformation.”
Advanced digital technologies and systems are a rapidly growing part of modern shipbuilding and ship repair and overhaul.
The digital lift program has been created to provide skilled individuals, including those from under-represented groups, with new skills and hands-on internship experiences. The program will offer rapid skill upgrades for 120 people whose employment has been affected by the pandemic, 200 paid virtual internships for individuals to get real-life experience working for technology companies.
The internships aim to help traditionally under-represented segments of the population like Indigenous people, women, rural youth, and mid-career transitioning workers gain experience through four-month, paid, virtual internships at tech firms in B.C.
The Digital Lift program is driven by the purpose and enthusiasm of consortium partners like Seaspan Shipyards, said Jill Tipping, chief executive at the B.C. Tech Association.
“We are thrilled to see that they are determined, as we are, to build a more diverse and inclusive tech sector by welcoming talent from under-represented groups into our industry with impactful programs,” she said.
The $75,000 investment is part of Seaspan’s commitments under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is developing a competitive marine industry while renewing the federal fleet.