Holland College diving program expanding in Summerside

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Brett Adams wanted a career that would keep him outside as much as possible.

The Petitcodiac, N.B., resident eventually decided to give commercial diving a try and enrolled at the Marine Training Centre at Holland College in Summerside.

It wasn’t really a hard decision, said Adams.

“It just looked like a good industry to get into, there’s work around where I live – really all Atlantic Canada,” he said.

“And it’s not an office job. It’s something where you can go out and get your hands dirty. It’s exciting.”

On Thursday, federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea visited Adam’s class to announce a $300,0000 Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency investment in the diving program.

The college is using the money to buy equipment for two new programs: a six-week unrestricted occupational scuba diver course and an eight-week restricted surface supplied diver course; the former would qualify divers for underwater manual labour while the latter involves much of the same work but also uses a surface-based breathing and communications system.  

The college says these new programs will open opportunities for graduates in fields like underwater archeology, aquaculture, environmental assessment and more.

It all sounds good to Adams, he’s now thinking about upgrading his education once the new programs come online later this year.

“If I could go back and take it, I would. Those are things I’d be interested in for sure,” he said.

Steve MacFarlane, master mariner of the training centre, said these programs expand opportunities, especially aquaculture, and graduates are increasingly in demand in markets all over Canada.

“There’s no one else around here doing this,” he said. 

 

 

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