Nova Scotia’s Ocean-Tech Sector Booming

By Ben Hamill - June 26 2019

Nova Scotia’s Ocean-Tech Sector Booming

Canada’s Nova Scotia province has boomed into nothing short of an ocean-tech powerhouse hub. But the journey hasn’t been without its particular challenges, say local industry experts. The proverbial fly in the wine has been an extreme shortage of skilled labourers. And this has apparently been so for going on a decade. But despite labour hiccups, local ocean-science driven companies have been going about their business in an extensive and impressive manner. In fact, the province’s ocean tech sector has been designing, developing and even manufacturing products and implements that have been shipped to destinations all over the world, and well as country-wide.

Specialised products are the name of the game in Nova Scotia. And if anybody is as of yet undecided about future qualifications, qualifying as a machinist may not be the worst of ideas. In fact, the local industry estimates that it will be in need of at least 400 machinists over the course of the next decade. And what with the local community college producing as few as 8 to 12 machinists each year, the current bottleneck situation in the local labour market is expected to intensify as time wears on.

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An Integrated Sector

But what all does ocean-tech entail? Interestingly enough, despite the sheer magnitude of Nova Scotia’s local sector alone, ocean technology isn’t recognised by government as a separate sector. Locally, 80 core companies are considered to be the making of the province’s ocean technology sector. Various secondary sectors rely heavily on ocean-tech, including the country’s fisheries, oil and gas companies, as well as renewable energy companies making use of marine technology and resources.

But what is even more astounding is that very few products relating to ocean tech have to actually be imported into the province. The local industry really is one able to take care of and supply to its own. And after all of the criss-cross supply management has been done and seen to, there are plenty of left-over’s ready and waiting to be shipped off to the rest of the world.

Labour Is A Head-Ache

According to Paul Yeatman, Chairman of the local provincial Ocean Technology Council, a number of factors contribute to the booming success of the local industry. These include tightened measures regulating the monitoring of the environment, defence-related exports and also the oil and gas industries.

The only issue really in desperate need of a practical solution, according to Yeatman, is the issue of the shortage of human resources in the local work force.

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