National Workforce Forum

What is the Forum?

The Marine Peoples Partnership Advisory Committeeis pleased to announce our first National Forum on Workforce Development in the Marine Industry, which is being organized to provide a platform for assembling key stakeholders and experts in workforce development from across the country, to discuss, debate, share best practices, and highlight key priority areas across sectors, and across the broader industry. Additionally, this is an opportunity to connect a network around common workforce issues, and benefit from the synergies and collaborations that arise from engaged stakeholders.  

Hosted by Dr. Sherry Scully, and featuring 4 panels of experts, the Forum will provide a channel for information exchange where all participants can have a role in idea-building.  This full day event is a great opportunity to bring together representatives from government, industry, and academia. The panel discussions will culminate in a drafting of recommendations and key priorities for the industry, which will be shared with all conference participants.

Key Note Speaker: Sandra Franke

Sandra is a manager with the Youth Employment Program Policy Division, in the department of Employment and Social Development Canada. She has been responsible for policy and research related to labour market programs for youth for the last 6 years. Prior to joining this group, Sandra held different positions in the government as a policy researcher, including 5 years with the Policy Research Initiative, a Government of Canada think tank, where she coordinated interdepartmental research initiatives in support of the government’s medium-term policy agenda. Along with her role as a policy advisor to the government, Sandra contributes her policy expertise on youth transitions, social capital and social innovations through publications, presentations and teaching and serves on editorial, advisory and adjudication committees. Sandra recently received two governmental awards of excellence for policy innovations and for “learning on the edge”. Sandra joined the federal public service in 2001 after pursuing her doctoral education in Urban Studies at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Montreal.

Additional Information on the National Forum

Registration & Fees             Schedule            Location and Timing Where to Stay Just Added: Networking Event

Registration & Fees            

Registration: $70 per person (plus applicable taxes)
Includes light breakfast, lunch and two coffee breaks

To register, click here:



For a PDF version of the schedule please click on the Click here




Location and Timing

O'Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS)

Forum: 7:30 am - 4:00 pm.
Networking Event: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm. (Check here again for updates and more details on the networking event)


Where to Stay

A block of rooms have been reserved at the Cambridge Suites Hotel in Halifax at a special rate of $155 per night for September 4th to 6th, 2017.

Mention "Marine People Partner" to receive your discount. 

To book call 1(800)565-1263


Just Added: Networking Event

Networking Event: Shuck Seafood and Raw-Bar Restaurant

Please join us after the National Forum for a networking event at the Shuck Seafood and Raw-Bar Restaurant. Light Snacks will be provided as well as a Cash Bar made available. No additional registration required. 

Address:  5120 Salter St, Halifax, NS B3J 0A1

Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm

For any questions or concerns, please contact Anna Naylor (

Panel Organization

Industry Apprenticeship Post Secondary Education K/P to 12 Education



As robust workforce development is key to keeping a thriving marine industry, this panel will focus on where industry leaders see the challenges and successes currently, and where the see the future need. Experts within the industry will share their experiences, and provide insight into future areas of focus for workforce development.


Moderator: Jim Hanlon, CEO, IORE/COVE



Mark Taylor, Shipbuilding And Strategy Manager, Jedi Nb

Joe Hood, Software Product Manager, GeoSpectrum

Captain J.K. Wilson, Canadian Navy

Owen Fitzgerald, Director Of Industry and Government Engagement, Mebons

Sheilagh Murphy, Asst. Deputy Minister, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Mark Jollymore, Ceo, Amirix/Vemco

Ken Lewenza, Labour

Phil Hart, Vice President, Fleetway Inc/Oceanic Consulting Services

Grant MacLeod, Clearwater Seafood


For more information on the panelists click here. 



As apprenticeship is a major component for many ocean-related trades, this panel will explore the needs, challenges and opportunities for marine-oriented apprenticeship programs across Canada. It will explore some innovative approaches to teaching and learning that are in practice across the country.


Moderator: Olaf Nielsen, Chair, Trades Development & Special Projects, Camosun College



Sarah Watts-Rynard, Executive Director, Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

Dan Southern, Manager of Talent Management, Seaspan

Dr. Lucy Kanary, Dean of Trades And Technology Programs, Nscc

Marjorie Davison, Chair of the Canadian Council of the Directors of Apprenticeship, CCDA

Tim Edwards, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Boat Builders Association

Rod Bianchini, Industry Training Authority-British Columbia

Cyprian Byron, Director of Trades, Irving Shipyard Inc.


For more information on the panelists click here.

Post Secondary Education

Post Secondary Education

As the current workforce requires a strong STEM background for many roles, this panel will discuss how post secondary institutions are readying their students for entering the workforce with both technical knowledge and the 21st century skills that are needed in the workplaces of today and the future. Panelists will discuss the gaps, and share ideas about best practices and innovative solutions to address these challenges.


Moderator: Cal Gosse, Senior Location Manager, IBM



Keith Brown, Former Vice President International and Aboriginal Affairs and Purdy Crawford Chair In Aboriginal Business Studies

Jon Mikkelsen, Director Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, University Of British Columbia 

Don Bureaux, President, NSCC

Catherine Dutton, Head, School of Maritime Studies - Marine Institute  

Sara Filbee, Assistant Deputy Minister, Service Canada, Atlantic Region, which is part of Employment and Social Development Canada.  


For more information on the Panelists click here. 

K/P to 12 Education

K/P-12 Education

This Panel will discuss the importance of building awareness of ocean careers through ocean education and career literacy programs within and parallel to the k/p-12 school system. Moderated by Dr. Sherry Scully, this panel will address what is being done across the country, what successes are being seen, what challenges we continue to experience, and how this cohort of future workers can best be engaged to consider future careers in oceans industries.


Moderator: Dr. Sherry Scully



Sandra McKenzie, Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering - Atlantic Region, and Professor of Biology, MSVU

Alex Paul, Executive Director, MEBO


For more information on the Panelists click here.