SAINT JOHN (GNB) – A $480,000 investment from the provincial government will support the Port of Saint John Employers Association’s first ever purchase of port operations training simulators.

“We are continuing to build on our province’s economic success by further supporting the unprecedented momentum that the Port of Saint John is experiencing,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “With the continued modernization, these simulators will be critical to ensuring the port has the skilled workforce it needs to continue to be one of the fastest growing container ports on North America’s east coast.”

With the port’s ongoing modernization and forecasted increase in container and other cargos, the demand for trained workers is expected to grow. The funding, along with a contribution from the Port of Saint John Employers Association, will allow for the purchase of two simulators: one focused on port specific equipment and one on construction equipment.

The simulators deliver many training scenarios that teach over a dozen different skills utilized in port operations and will support the development of new and enhanced skills for all four port employers that move various types of cargo.

“The installation of the training simulators at the Port of Saint John Employers Association is an integral addition to our training initiative,” said Jen Brun, vice-president and general manager of the association. “This initiative will help meet the increased work volumes across all the port employers.”

The purchase of the simulators is expected to reduce the time required to have employees fully proficient in their various roles and will improve the assessment of training candidates.

“The International Longshoremen's Association cannot give enough thanks to minister Holder for having the foresight to understand the need for additional trained labour as a result of the modernization and recent increase in cargo volumes going through Port Saint John,” said Terry Wilson, president of Local 273. “These simulators will put our trainees at ease knowing mistakes they make while learning will not injure anyone or do damage to the ship or other equipment.”

“A highly skilled workforce is critical to the success of DP World Saint John’s operations,” said Terrence White, general manager. “We appreciate the support and investment by the Government of New Brunswick to ensure we can enable the flow of trade while creating sustainable economic growth.”

The initiative is a direct result of the Workforce Partnership Committee, which was announced in July 2021. It is funded through WorkingNB as part of the Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Agreements.