Winners selected to represent B.C. shipbuilding

The following is the text of a news release from the BC Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Board


(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) (Feb. 27) — The BC Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Board (SSRB) is proud to announce the winners of the recent “Get on Board!” contest. Current and past employees of B.C.’s shipbuilding sector were encouraged to enter and win a chance at one of three cash prizes by sharing a story, video, and/or survey about their experiences in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry.|

Companies, including Seaspan, Point Hope Maritime, Meridian Marine Industries and others donated $6,000 in cash prizes toward the “Get on Board!” contest.

"The submissions received from the hardworking men and women of shipbuilding were overwhelming, and the high calibre of entries that we received clearly show the true face of our industry: a community built on pride, mutual respect and fairness,” says Mark Wilson, SSRB chair and VP, engineering for BC Ferries.

From the many submissions received, over 20 submissions were selected to be finalists. Industry experts were then given the difficult task of selecting the top three winners. Two individuals were chosen as runner-ups, and honourable mention was given to an additional five individuals.

Selected stories and elements of the surveys received will be used throughout the development of the We are Shipbuilders campaign, which is geared at raising the awareness of career options and opportunities in British Columbia’s thriving shipbuilding and ship repair industry. This campaign is based on the heart and soul of the industry – the shipbuilders.

Over the next decade alone, B.C.’s employers will need an estimated 4,000 individuals to meet existing and future job openings in both the shipbuilding and ship repair sector and the directly affiliated metal plate and fabrication sector. The knowledge, stories and advice of industry champions will be used to highlight the advantages of working for a growing, safe, high tech and stable industry that offers excellent working conditions on the beautiful West Coast of British Columbia.

“Between now and 2020, the shipbuilding and ship repair industry has a goal of recruiting at least 4,000 new employees,” says John Shaw, vice chair of the SSRB and vice president, Government Relations and Business Development – Seaspan Shipyards. “There has never been a better time to be a shipbuilder. Our current workforce is strong, and we are confident about attracting the next generation of shipbuilders to work with us.”

The top three winners of the contest are:

First place: $3,000 award – Glenn Gerbrandt, Seaspan Shipyards

Second place: $2,000 award – Sean Lever, Meridian Marine 

Third place: $1,000 award – Brent Longton, BC Ferries

While the contest is over, current and past employees of B.C.’s shipbuilding sector are encouraged to visit and share their stories and experiences in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. All Canadians are encouraged to keep abreast of industry news and events by “liking” We are Shipbuilders on Facebook and Twitter.

For a complete list of finalists, runner-ups and those that received honourable mention, please visit

About the BC Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Board (SSRB)

The SSRB is the unified voice of the shipbuilding and ship repair sector of British Columbia. The SSRB includes senior representatives from industry, labour, and government who work collaboratively to provide industry leadership, co-ordination and integration of cross-industry workforce development, technology and process development, and industry development projects.

Since its inception, the SSRB has been working closely with industry partners to ensure that the sector has the right numbers of workers, with the right skills, in the right locations, and at the right times to support productivity and technology transfer, and to enable the sector’s expansion, competitiveness and sustainability.

By Professional Mariner Staff