Canada is opening up Canadian ships to more international seafarers Ship’s crew

Canada has signed agreements with Georgia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom to allow its certified seafarers to work on board Canadian ships. This is part of an effort to address a seaman shortage in the country’s domestic fleet.

The countries join Australia, France, Norway and Ukraine in Canada’s Reciprocal Arrangement Program, which allows foreign seafarers to work on Canadian-flagged ships and is part of a larger investment in maritime training opportunities for underrepresented groups in Canada.

Canada’s Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced the agreements on Sunday to mark the United Nations’ International Seafarers’ Day.

The announcement builds on an earlier agreement in March between Canada and the Philippines, the world’s largest provider of seafarers and officers, which allowed Filipino seafarers to work on Canadian-flagged ships for the first time.

“Coast-to-coast Canadians rely on the deployment of seafarers to get goods and ships where they need to go,” Minister Alghabra said. “On behalf of our government I would like to thank all seafarers for their commitment. With agreements like these, we strengthen our workforce today and in the future with well-paying jobs for certified seafarers.”

The Canadian government is committed to encouraging more educated and skilled people to work in the shipping industry, which is responsible for moving an estimated 70-80% of the goods Canadians consume every day.

Launched in 2019, the Reciprocal Arrangement Program allows foreign seafarers to quickly find employment in the Canadian shipping sector if they meet the work requirements.

Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan has invested $29.8 million to extend the naval training program by four years, providing underrepresented groups such as Indigenous Peoples, Northerners and women with naval training opportunities to prepare them for jobs in the maritime industry .

To date, the Canadian government has invested a total of US$58 million in the Marine Training Program, which since 2016 has helped 650 students from underrepresented groups find careers in the Canadian Coast Guard and other parts of the maritime industry.

Foreign seafarers from these countries with a valid International Convention on Standards for the Training, Certification and Watchkeeping of Seafarers certificate can now apply for Canadian recognition, provided they also meet the requirements of Canada’s Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship, Employment and Citizenship Services Social Development Agency meet Canada, including obtaining a valid work permit.

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