January 22, 2013
In 2011, the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (CCPFH) obtained the necessary funding to hold annual roundtable meetings over a period of three years. These meetings were attended by representatives of provincial education and training organizations, regional representatives of federal agencies responsible for regulating the fishing industry, namely Transport Canada (TC) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), as well as representatives from the fishing industry. The main topics discussed were the training needs of fish harvesters and provincial strategies to address these needs. An initial series of roundtable meetings held between October 2011 and January 2012 involved 85 participants in six provinces. This year’s meetings were attended by over 100 participants in seven provinces: British Columbia (Vancouver), Manitoba (Winnipeg), Québec (Québec), New Brunswick (Moncton), Prince Edward Island (Summerside), Nova Scotia (Halifax), and Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s). There was a high degree of consensus among the provinces on the main trends impacting fish harvester labour force and the principle training delivery to fish harvesters.
Discussions were held on topics/issues such as the identification of training capacity and delivery strategies, availability of training, Labour Market Agreements (provincial-federal), labour market development agreements, Transport Canada’s Marine Personnel Regulations, marine safety, and seal harvesting, as well as the needs, gaps and barriers related to workforce training (and ways to overcome these issues). These meetings were also an opportunity for the CCPFH to present current and future activities and projects, and share information from the other regions. All stakeholders who attended the meetings were very pleased with the process.
The current round of meetings is scheduled to end in the fall of 2013. One of the CCPFH’s main objectives in this initiative was to expand these roundtable meetings to the national level and help create a regional dynamic. The Council is hoping that future meetings will be organized on a regional level to further the discussion on fish harvesters’ training delivery.