Last week, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that it would invest in coastal science and technology education for secondary students, with an emphasis on Indigenous and rural students.

With support from the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador, secondary school students will learn about careers in dynamic ocean-related industries through three new hands-on programs being offered by Oceans Learning Partnership Inc.

The Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, and the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, revealed a total contribution of $313,428 from the Provincial Government for this initiative. Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced a non-repayable contribution of $141,098 from ACOA’s Business Development Program.

“Newfoundland and Labrador is a world leader in ocean science technology, providing access to world-renowned training institutions with extensive infrastructure and research capabilities, and innovative businesses serving niche markets around the globe,” said Minister Hawkins. “This initiative supports our efforts to maintain a highly-skilled workforce by ensuring high school students learn about the exciting educational and employment opportunities available right here in ocean industries.”

The investments support a summer internship program for high school students; an enrichment program focused on marine data collection and remote monitoring; and an online mentorship program connecting students to real-world projects.

Through this pilot initiative, Oceans Learning Partnership Inc. will offer educational programs to more students in rural areas such as Clarenville, Harbour Grace, Norris Point, and Harbour Breton, as well as to Indigenous students in Coast of Bays on the province’s south coast and in Bay of Islands on the west coast. Oceans Learning Partnership Inc. delivers hands-on ocean science technology and career exploration learning programs to students and teachers in coastal regions.

“Interns will be engaged in hands-on fieldwork, job shadowing in host companies and working on real-world projects with research scientists and professionals in industries such as aquaculture, ocean technology, shipbuilding and marine tourism,” said Leslie Grattan, interim chair, Oceans Learning Partnership Inc. “Through these dynamic learning experiences, young people in the province will gain practical and marketable skills and get exposed directly to a range of careers and entrepreneurial ventures in the oceans sector.”

Image credit: Coastal Explorers


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