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Clark Announces Camosun Training Centre

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Uploaded on Jun 27, 2011

SAANICH - Mila Puharich tried philosophy, and anthropology, but something just wasn't right. "I'm not really into books. It's not my drive. I can do it if someone gives it to me. I like to be able to kick what I make."

And so the Camosun College welding apprentice from Salt Spring Island set her sights on the shipbuilding industry. "Where you are is what you should make. I'm on the coast I should make boats."

So she will, after perfecting her trade at Camosun College where the Province is spending $550,000 for a new marine training centre.

And the investment comes when BC's shipbuilding industry could have a few job openings. "What we are talking about is a once in a generation opportunity for BC, for the south island" said Premier Christy Clark at Camosun's Interurban campus Monday.

Seaspan Marine Corporation, which owns Victoria Shipyards is submitting bids in the next week for two of the most valuable shipbuilding contracts ever in Canada - building a non-combat naval fleet, coast guard vessels and ships to replace our Navy's frigates. They total $35 billion. If Seaspan is awarded one of them, it could generate close to 7000 direct and indirect jobs in BC including 500 in Victoria within two years.

It all means students just setting sail in the shipbuilding industry are getting in while the getting's good - really good.

The contracts are expected to provide steady employment to people like Mila Puharich for 30 years. The federal government will make its decision, and award the contracts, this fall.

Follow Andrew Johnson on Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/ANewsAndrew

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