The West Coast Boatyard Association started out in 1995 as the Vancouver Island Marine Repairers Association.  The name was changed in 2004 as the members recognized their objectives were shared with all marine service companies and not just those on Vancouver Island.

Some accomplishments have been the creation of the Marine Service Technician apprenticeship program and the establishment of the Marine Industry Workforce Development Committee, which helped develop an early version of today’s Marine Mechanical Technician apprenticeship program.

Since its inception WCBA has supported competency-based apprenticeship training and workforce development through government grant funding applications.  The marine service industry is growing and this need is stronger than ever.  The increased demand for skills training and professional development beyond apprenticeships has led to the WCBA’s renewed commitment to promote and support the marine service and construction industry.

What benefits would membership deliver to us?

The WCBA aims to:

  • Increase the availability of and access to technical training in other regions of coastal BC as well as Greater Vancouver and Victoria.
  • Help industry beginners, skilled trades and management alike move forwards in their career paths through professional development opportunities.
  • Support Marine Service Technician apprentices and their employers in completing the requirements for certification.
  • Promote careers in the marine trades by attending career fairs and being active in matching employment seekers with job opportunities.

If you are an apprentice or employ apprentices, your membership fees go directly towards funding competency assessments - the key process in certification as a Marine Service Technician.

Membership will also provide reduced rates for some technical training and courses offered through WCBA.

Is the association a member of Boating BC?  Is there not a duplication of effort here with two BC associations that represent industry?

Since its inception the West Coast Boatyard Association and Boating BC (and before it the BC Marine Trades Association) have worked together to address areas of mutual interest.

Boating BC has hundreds of business members that represent all sectors of the boating industry - marinas, yacht brokers, retail and OEM manufacturers, as well as service providers.  The WCBA is dedicated to assist those businesses and trades professionals that service, refit and construct recreational craft in BC.  We certainly fall within the greater umbrella of Boating BC, but whereas a goal of Boating BC is to promote boating to the public and provide access to expertise for boaters, our specific goal is to promote careers in the marine service and construction industry, and to provide access to training for marine trades and the businesses that employ them. We need our own organization to provide the support mechanisms particular to the service and refit industry.  

The WCBA aims to give our trades industry the specific tools it needs to maintain and improve industry standards of excellence.

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