DAL building

National Shipbuilding and Procurement Strategy (NSPS) Workshop Series


After a very successful and well-attended (75 attendees) first NSPS Workshop entitled “Charting the Course” on 6 June 2014, which included an update on the progress of the NSPS and a look forward at the future classes of Royal Canadian Navy ships, Dalhousie’s Centre for Foreign Policy Studies (CFPS) will undertake a second workshop on the personnel considerations behind the NSPS.  The workshop will be titled “Human Capital and the NSPS” and will take place in the Dalhousie Campus - University Hall on Friday 14 November 2014 (Confirmed).  It is the intention of the CFPS to be a Venue of Excellence in the coming years to sustain these types of important workshops and conferences on the NSPS challenges and opportunities.


Given that nearly 50% of the budgets of many of the affected organizations are consumed by personnel costs it is vital that we take a more comprehensive look at the people issues under the NSPS before we begin to cut steel on our new government fleets.  Research to-date on this issue suggests that there is significant risk associated with the personnel aspects of the NSPS, particularly given the planned shift to a long-term and virtually continuous building approach to national shipbuilding.  This workshop will endeavour to highlight these challenges and propose workable solutions for all stakeholders so that we can ensure that we have the right quality and quantity of personnel to meet the needs of the NSPS.

The one-day workshop will tackle the issues along three main topics and a panel will be convened to address each area.  Further panel topics may also be explored as we continue to prepare for the workshop.  The initial three Panel themes will be referred to as Building, Crewing and Sustaining.  By breaking out the discussion into three themes we will be better equipped to understand the various human demands of the new classes of government ships.

In the Building Panel we will gather individuals that are knowledgeable on matters of training, employment and technical skills regeneration in the shipbuilding and naval systems sector internationally and in Canada.  We will welcome organizations that are knowledgeable in the areas of training, apprenticeships and labour development.   In this panel we will specifically address the challenges that lie ahead to produce the right kind of individuals with the requisite skills to meet the NSPS goals.

For the Crewing Panel we intend to invite Canadian and International naval practitioners along with maritime, defence industry, academic and government experts to allow us to explore some of the new trends in the crewing of warships, government vessels, marine platforms and merchant ships that could inform the development of the crewing concepts for our future government fleets under the NSPS.  This discussion will explore some of the novel approaches that international navies and maritime offshore industries are undertaking to optimize the crewing of their fleets and how these concepts might influence the ship designs for the new classes of government fleets under the NSPS.

Lastly, for the Sustaining Panel we will look at longer-term issues surrounding the human dimension of the NSPS such as labour supply (both domestic and foreign), labour mobility and the effect that the institutionalization of a continuous build approach to shipbuilding in Canada may have on broader labour supply issues. This longer term view will also expose further work that should be undertaken in future workshops.

It is the intention of the CFPS to be a Venue of Excellence in the coming years to sustain these types of important workshops and conferences on the NSPS challenges and opportunities. Dalhousie University’s Centre for Foreign Policy Studies welcomes your sponsorship and collaboration in the development of our next workshop content so that we can continue to offer these types of collaborative workshops in the future to meet the challenges and opportunities of the NSPS.

Commander Ian DH Wood (RCN) Defence Fellow  - Centre for Foreign Policy Studies

Ian.wood@dal.ca  (902)-494-6610  and/or David.smart@dal.ca