Maritime Industry launches major youth employment initiative

June 12, 2018

Canada’s marine shipping industry hiring hundreds of Canadians for stable, good-paying jobs


ST. CATHARINES, ONT – JUNE 12, 2018 – The Seafarers’ Training Institute, in partnership with the Seafarers International Union (SIU) of Canada, Algoma Central Corporation, Canadian Steamship Lines (CSL) and Groupe Desgangés have launched a national hiring initiative aimed at recruiting, training and retaining youth for Canada’s growing merchant marine.


The initiative is the first of its kind and scale in the Canadian shipping industry, and positions filled will address an ongoing labour shortage and impending crisis in one of Canada’s fastest growing industries. Joining Canada’s seafarers is more than a job, it’s a career of Stability, Adventure and Pride.  


“The Seafarers’ Training Institute campaign will inform Canadian youth as well as experienced workers about the good-paying job opportunities in Canada’s marine industry,” says Vince Giannopoulos, SIU member and campaign spokesperson. “I started as a seafarer when I was 21 years old, and it was the best decision I ever made. I was making more than $60,000 a year right out of high school.”


In addition to stable employment, recruits can benefit from a paid education, skills upgrading and free room and board through the SIU’s Unlicensed Apprenticeship Program.


The SIU of Canada has an immediate need to recruit 300 new seafarers as well as an ongoing need to fill positions of an aging workforce. SIU members are hired to work for companies like Canada Steamship Lines, Algoma Central Corporation and Groupe Desgagnés on vessels in the Great Lakes, and on the East and West Coasts.


The SIU of Canada represents the majority of unlicensed sailors in Canada. Within the next five years, almost 20% of SIU members will retire, meanwhile Canada’s marine shipping industry is projected to increase significantly over the coming years.


At the national level, the Canadian commercial marine shipping industry directly contributes $3 billion to GDP. The hiring initiative through the Seafarers’ Training Institute will serve to provide Canadian youth and experienced workers with secure, good-paying jobs while ensuring Canada’s shipping industry continues to prosper.


“The economic importance of Canada’s marine shipping industry cannot be understated. We need to fill jobs so we can continue to deliver important cargo across our country,” says James Given, President of the Seafarers’ Training Institute. “Canada is a great trading nation, and joining our country’s merchant marine is a not just a smart career move, it’s a strategic one.”


The recruitment initiative is complimented by a campaign microsite where interested applicants can learn more about the benefits of a career at sea. Potential recruits are able to apply online at




About the Seafarers’ Training Institute: The Seafarers’ Training Institute, affiliated with the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada trains and prepares Canadians for successful careers as merchant mariners. Through the Institute, tuition, along with room and board for seafarer training is free . New recruits can become certified through the Institute’s Unlicensed Apprentice (UA) Program. More experienced workers can also receive skills upgrades and regular training through the Seafarers’ Training Institute.

To learn more about a career in seafaring, or to apply, visit