BCMEA celebrates new Training Centre with grand opening

By BCShippingNews
October 2 2013
BCMEA staff, industry trainers and Liebherr representatives who opened the new Waterfront Training Centre.
Impressive display of training equipment and skills for guests...

Over 175 guests braved the elements and attended the Grand Opening of BCMEA’s new Waterfront Training Centre on Friday September 27, 2013.

Tours of the three state of the art classrooms and live demonstrations were performed for the crowd on Container Lashing, Steel Training, Lift Truck Training, Container Heavy Lift Trucks, Tractor Trailers, a Front-end loader, Mobile Crane, Pedestal Crane, and Mobile Equipment Simulators to showcase some of the training that will be provided at the new site.

Political guest speakers included; Lisa Raitt - Federal Minister of Transportation, Minister Mary Polak - Provincial Minister of Environment and Wai Young MP-Vancouver South,.

"I'm delighted to be here for the grand opening of this new training centre," said Minister Raitt. "By encouraging the creation of training projects such as this one, I am confident that our government is helping all Canadians to benefit from the critical work of the men and women who staff our marine facilities and keep our ports and the marine transportation system safe and efficient."

"Canada must maintain a reliable, efficient, safe, and environmentally responsible transportation system," added Minister Raitt. "The BCMEA's training programs will make it possible for a safe and efficient workforce to be ready for the future - a workforce that will help Canada leverage international trade to build our country's economic prosperity."

This new training centre represents a unique collaboration between employers in the Asia Pacific Gateway and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that is unparalleled by any competitor port. The BCMEA employs approximately 86 regular union trainers to deliver the various training programs with oversight and assistance from BCMEA field training supervisors. All training materials are developed jointly with direct employers, experienced union members, and BCMEA staff members. The facility is a significant step along the continuum to ensure world-class training for all ports in British Columbia. Along with the opening of the new centre the BCMEA will invest heavily in increasing the skills of its trainers to ensure the offerings of psychomotor and classroom training is second to none.

“Let’s not forget what this is all about – it is about ensuring our training product is the best in North America, if not the world. Our objective is to provide the most cost effective, safest and productive equipment operators the world has ever seen” said John Beckett, Vice President of Training, Safety and Recruitment for the BCMEA. “This we do through our ILWU industry trainers”.   Beckett went on further to say “This training site could not have happened without the leadership,  trust and support of our Board and member companies, and our training partners at ILWU Canada and ILWU Locals 500, 502, 505, 508 and 519.”

The BCMEA Waterfront Training Centre will provide the following training programs on site:

  • Physical demands testing (recruitment)
  • Container lashing (recruitment)
  • Steel training (recruitment)
  • Log training (recruitment)
  • Break Bulk training (recruitment)
  • Crane Gear Inspection
  • Western Dock labour training
  • Fall protection training
  • Lift Truck
  • Tractor Trailer
  • Container Heavy Lift Truck
  • Frontend Loader
  • Mobile Crane
  • Pedestal Crane

In future it may also provide Bulldozed, Excavator, RTG, Reach Stacker and Dock Gantry training.

In 2012, the BCMEA trained over 2600 individuals (including 912 new recruits) in 42 ratings making it one of the largest industrial training institutions in North America. This new facility will strengthen the value proposition of the BCMEA’s training product through a number of channels. The centrally-located facility will allow for the training of both Lower Mainland and Island operations, and will provide a controlled environment to enable the safe delivery of a diverse set of training programs all at a single site. BCMEA’s training programs will now be much less dependent on cargo and equipment availability, will have a reduced impact on terminal productivity, and will result in less equipment and cargo damage while improving overall worker safety.

The infrastructure is now in place to establish the Asia Pacific Gateway as the best transportation network facilitating trade between North America and Asia but it is only as good as the people on the ground that service the industry. The new Waterfront Training Centre will help create a commercial environment that is conducive to British Columbia becoming the preferred destination for global shippers by consistently delivering a safe and efficient workforce into the future.