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NSCC launches marine bursary program for women and Indigenous Canadians

April 24, 2019 – Media Release

Port Hawkesbury – Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is launching a project to assist more women and Indigenous people gain access to marine industry training and careers over the next three years.

Starting today, women and indigenous learners can apply to have 90% of the costs for eligible marine courses covered. Successful applicants to eligible marine programs may apply to receive an annual bursary of $5,000 toward the tuition costs of most eligible programs. Indigenous students who receive this annual bursary may also be eligible for an additional bursary of $10,500 each year to assist with living costs. This is being made possible by the Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan.

“We know that our partners across the marine industry are experiencing a skilled labour shortage,” says NSCC President Don Bureaux. “There are more jobs than people with the skills to fill them. This project helps address this gap by increasing access to career opportunities for women and Indigenous people, while simultaneously creating opportunities for employers to introduce the diverse skill sets and perspectives that they want and need.”

Through this initiative, NSCC will increase access to marine training by delivering programs and courses in various Mi’kmaw and coastal communities; develop new training to inspire working and learning environments that are welcoming and inclusive for women and Indigenous Canadians; and increase community outreach and dedicated marketing and recruitment efforts aimed at eligible learners.

“We’re excited to partner with NSCC in the development and delivery of this project,” says Alex Paul, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO).  “This is a perfect opportunity for NSCC to lead an effort to help women and Indigenous community members acquire in-demand skills that will lead directly to employment in the growing oceans sector. We are confident that NSCC programs will provide participants with exceptional skills and that participants will be supported each step of this journey — from training to successfully connecting to the labour market. It’s the partnership between NSCC, communities and industry that will make this program a success.”

There are two bursaries available for eligible students enrolled in marine-related certificate, diploma and advanced diploma programs:

  1. The Ocean Dream Award for Women and Indigenous People offers $5,000 towards tuition costs ($10,000 for Bridge Watch Rating).
  2. Indigenous students who receive the Ocean Dream Award may apply, each year, for the Ocean Living Award to assist with living expenses up to $10,500.

third bursary, the Ocean Awaits Award for Women and Indigenous People covers 90% of registration fees for marine courses such as Marine Emergency Duties, Small Vessel Operator and Fishing Master IV.

 Courses are updated regularly at with some courses staring in June.

 Learn more at

About Nova Scotia Community College

NSCC is committed to building Nova Scotia's economy and quality of life through education and innovation, transforming Nova Scotia one learner at a time. Serving the province through a network of 13 campuses, the College offers 130 plus programs in five academic schools — Access, Business, IT & Creative Industries, Health & Human Services, and Trades & Technology — reflecting labour market needs and opportunities in Nova Scotia. NSCC's primary goal: student success. In an annual survey of its graduates, the College has found 88% are employed, most in their field of choice, with 92% of those employed living and working in Nova Scotia.

About Marine Training Program 

The Marine Training Program provides federal funding to help expand traditional learning, e-learning, and blended learning programs at Canada's marine training schools. These fund help raise public awareness of, and access to, training and job opportunities for underrepresented groups in the marine sector, including women, Northerners, Inuit and Indigenous peoples; develop marine training programs that reflect Traditional Knowledge, culturally-appropriate material, and the learning needs of isolated and remote coastal communities; and provide infrastructure, equipment, and new technology to improve marine training and local access to training. 

The Marine Training Program is part of the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. The Oceans Protection Plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and waterways for generations to come. Work is being done in close collaboration with Inuit and Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities. 

For more information

Niki Toomey, Communications Advisor, NSCC

Media Relations Office, Transport Canada

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