Ocean Technology Sector Study: Competency Assessment and Workforce Study

The Ocean Technology and broader Oceans sector in Nova Scotia is a rapidly growing community.  Presently the sector is comprised of entrepreneurs, innovators, and employees who have not typically followed traditional career paths to arrive in their current role. Indeed, serendipity defines the career paths for most, which makes it difficult for post-secondary institutions (PSIs) to replicate with programs of study. This in turn hampers efforts aimed at building career literacy for the sector among the next generation of workers.

Dr. Sherry Scully’s study provides insight to the skills and competencies employers are looking for when hiring employees in the Oceans sector. Data was collected via survey and one-on-one interviews from industry representatives from nine ocean oriented industries (marine defence, marine renewables, ocean research & observation, oil & gas, fishing & aquaculture, marine tourism, ship building, boat building, marine transportation).

Participants of the survey revealed strong optimism in the potential for growth across the ocean industries. However, the data also revealed significant anticipated workforce challenges in the future, few having talent management strategies in place to begin addressing these challenges. The survey exposed five priority workforce issues including; competency gaps of critical employee roles, cultivating high demand critical employees, preparing for impending retirements, positioning youth for regional recruitment, and developing essential, professional, and 21st century skills and competencies.

This research study was initiated and funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour & Advanced Education, and Department of Business, in partnership with the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS), Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), and the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE).

Read the whole report here: Final Report

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