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Building ships, hiring veterans, and investing in youth


Today, Canada’s National Shipbuilder, Irving Shipbuilding, provided delegates at CANSEC, Canada’s largest defence conference, with an update on its work building the Royal Canadian Navy’s future fleet and announced significant investments to support Canadian Armed Forces Veterans and the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.

Irving Shipbuilding to hire 100 Canadian Armed Forces Veterans

Irving Shipbuilding and its affiliated companies that support shipbuilding have set a goal to hire 100 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans over the next five years to support our commitments as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). 

Canada’s Veterans are known around the world for their teamwork, leadership, skills, abilities and expertise. These attributes of the men and women of the CAF have served Canada well during their time of service, and it is the goal of Irving Shipbuilding that these transitioning CAF members and veterans continue to serve our country by proudly building ships for Canada. 

Irving Shipbuilding currently employs 1,800 people with a forecast increase to 2,800 during the late 2020’s. Irving Shipbuilding is in discussions with representatives of the Department of National Defence, Veterans Affairs Canada, and non-profit organizations to assist with the goal of hiring 100 CAF Veterans over the next five years. 

Irving Shipbuilding invests $100,000 to support scholarships for Royal Canadian Sea Cadets

Irving Shipbuilding is investing $100,000 with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Education Foundation (RCSCEF) to support scholarships and encourage Canada’s Sea Cadets to explore careers in marine industry.

The $100,000 National Shipbuilding Strategy Bursary from Irving Shipbuilding will significantly increase the number of scholarships awarded annually by RCSCEF to Royal Canadian Sea Cadets entering the first year of a post-secondary training program. The National Shipbuilding Strategy Bursary will focus on marine and shipbuilding programs, such as welding, pipefitting, naval architecture, and industrial engineering. The first scholarships will be awarded in the summer of 2019.

Irving Shipbuilding’s support to the RCSCEF is part of the Value Proposition commitment under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. To date, Irving Shipbuilding has committed more than $12 million in Value Proposition investments toward creating a sustainable marine industry across Canada. One focus of the Value Proposition is to support workforce development and the attraction of people into the marine industry in Canada. 

The RCSCEF was created to provide scholarships to Sea Cadets who are pursuing post-secondary studies, and recognizes the importance of post-secondary education to the future success of the young men and women leaving the Sea Cadet program. 

Canada’s first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship to launch in fall 2018

As part of Canada’s NSS, Halifax Shipyard is building up to six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and 15 Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) over the next 25 years. 

Today, the first three AOPS, the future Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Harry DeWolf, Margaret Brooke, and Max Bernays are under construction at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard. In fall 2018, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf will be launched.

As of March 31, 2018, Halifax Shipyard has over $2 billion in spending commitments throughout Canada as part of the NSS. 

Irving Shipbuilding and the Government of Canada are evaluating bids received from the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the design of the CSC fleet. The CSC is the largest, most complex procurement undertaken by the Government of Canada. These ships will form the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Once the evaluation is complete the selection of a preferred bidder will be announced. Contract awards will follow later in 2018, and the start of ship construction remains scheduled for the early 2020s.


Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Service and Procurement Canada

“Our Government is making important investments through the National Shipbuilding Strategy that are providing social and economic benefits for Canada. I am pleased that Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is developing a highly capable workforce by creating opportunities for our veterans and youth in the marine industry.”

Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“This is our government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy at work. Irving’s investment in the Sea Cadet Scholarship program is giving our next generation the skills they need to succeed in the middle class jobs of tomorrow all while strengthening Canada’s marine and shipbuilding industry. Investing in Canadians today is really a down payment for our future economy. Congratulations to the team at Irving!” 

Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding

“Canada’s veterans are used to being part of a team serving the country. We are proud to provide Veterans with an opportunity to come back on a team that is serving the country, building and maintaining the Royal Canadian Navy’s future and currently fleet. Canada’s Veterans are reliable, well trained, disciplined, adaptable leaders who will contribute greatly to our team.”

Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding

“As Sea Cadets, youth are exposed to a variety of marine activities and careers including naval communications, boat repair, and marine engineering. Royal Canadian Sea Cadets are a natural fit to study and work in the shipbuilding and marine industries, as they have gained experience learning about the naval and maritime environment.”

Captain Harry Harsch, RCN (Ret’d), Chair, The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Education Foundation

“The Board of the RCSCEF sincerely appreciates the generous contribution of Irving Shipbuilding in helping us provide scholarships for young men and women leaving the sea cadet program to pursue post-secondary education opportunities. Supporting bursaries related to the National Shipbuilding Strategy makes sense, and is a win-win for students, marine industry and Canada.”

 CANSEC Announcement May 31, 2018
Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC), Christyn Cianfarani, President, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of PSPC, Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding, Gene Joelson, Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Education Foundation at Irving Shipbuilding’s announcement of $100,000 in Sea Cadet Scholarships and goal of hiring 100 Canadian Armed Forces Veterans.

About Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Canada’s National Shipbuilder, is the most modern shipbuilder and in-service ship support provider in North America. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, our skilled team and innovative facilities provide efficient building, fabrication, conversion and servicing of vessels and offshore platforms. As Canada’s chosen shipbuilder, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is working with the Royal Canadian Navy on the next class of Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) and Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) vessels under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). We are proud to continue our long history as a trusted partner in Canadian shipbuilding. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is a member of the J.D. Irving, Limited group of companies, a diverse family owned company with operations in Canada and the United States. Learn more at or

Media Contact:

Sean Lewis
Director, Communications
Irving Shipbuilding

Office: 902-484-4595
Mobile: 902-240-6964