Marshall has announced plans to introduce its industry-leading Skills Academy model in Canada and will launch initial suite of apprentice-style “earn as you learn” training programmes later this year to help address the looming skills gap in manufacturing and engineering in the province of New Brunswick.
The new programmes are being run as a five-year pilot project in close partnership between Marshall Skills Academy Canada, New Brunswick Community College and University of New Brunswick Saint John, and are backed by almost CAD $7 million in support from the Government of New Brunswick. Representatives from each project partner gathered for an event to commemorate the launch of the pilot project on March 16th, 2023.
The programmes will be targeted to high school students, underrepresented groups in the industry and those changing careers. Participants will be employed by an industry partner from the beginning and will take part in an initial block of learning at the start of each academic year, followed by a schedule of four days per week at work and one day in class at either of the supporting higher education institutions.
Participants will have the opportunity to receive fully funded qualifications, relevant work experience and a salary whilst receiving full support throughout their journey. Meanwhile, participating organisations will grow their own talent pool with support from highly regarded education providers.
Four distinct programmes will be delivered under the partnership:
- Manufacturing Essentials (Micro-credential): An eight-week course giving a basic introduction to several trades and opportunities to build employability skills
- Advanced Manufacturing Diploma: An 18-month course leading to a certificate at the technician level. There is also a three-year option leading to a diploma at the technologist level
- Bachelor of Applied Technology (Industrial): Participants complete a combination of in-person and virtual learning as well as tracking their on-the-job learning
- Masters in systems engineering (Industrial): This course is aimed at domestic and international graduates who have completed an applicable bachelor’s degree. International graduates will participate in a residential settling-in period for six weeks prior to the start of term
Student enrolment over the five-year pilot project is expected to total 454 across the four programmes.
These programmes—and the initiatives already being undertaken by Marshall Skills Academy in the UK—are designed to help address severe impending skills shortages across the engineering sector. To that end, the mission of Marshall Skills Academy has been to grow the Marshall Group’s talent pipeline through apprenticeships whilst using in-house expertise to help other employers by training their apprentices. In the UK this year, Marshall Skills Academy is looking forward to welcoming a record number of apprentices from multiple employers.
Marshall Skills Academy General Manager Dan Edwards explains: “This is a really significant development for Marshall Skills Academy as we establish our operation in Canada. The skills shortage in Canada is every bit as acute as elsewhere in the world and we have a fantastic opportunity in this new market to capitalise on our experience and expertise in delivering apprenticeship programmes in the UK and support the development of our new Land Systems business in the region. I am particularly excited to starting our journey in New Brunswick and am sure this will be the first of many such partnerships for Marshall Skills Academy Canada.”
Marshall previously announced plans for a new Land Systems manufacturing facility in Moncton, New Brunswick to support growing export demand for its range of deployable infrastructure which is due to open in the Summer.