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A presentation to the Vancouver Island Branch of the CIMarE March 2012. Presentation Outline. Introduction About the presenter Observations of the industry About Blue Riband What is Blue Riband Who we serve How we serve Solutions for Clients Plan for the Future Licensing Authority

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Presentation Transcript
presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • Introduction
    • About the presenter
    • Observations of the industry
  • About Blue Riband
    • What is Blue Riband
    • Who we serve
    • How we serve
      • Solutions for Clients
      • Plan for the Future
      • Licensing Authority
      • Solutions for Partners
      • Quality above all
  • Conclusion
    • Aims
    • Benefits to business
    • Expansion of activities
  • Open Discussion
a marine engineer
A Marine Engineer
  • 1992 Heavy Duty Mechanic Certificate, Camosun College
  • 1994 Diesel Marine Mechanic Certificate, Camosun College
  • 1995-1999 Marine Engineering Apprentice Pacific Marine Training Institute (BCIT Marine Campus)BC Ministry of Transportation and HighwaysMarine Branch (Ian Smart, Director)
a marine engineer1
A Marine Engineer
  • Nov 1999 –Transport Canada Fourth Class CertificateCanadian Coast Guard, working as oiler primarily, later as engineer
  • Sept 2002 – Transport Canada Third Class Certificate
  • April 2003 – Start Disney Cruise Line, 4th Engineer
  • June 2004 – Start Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, 2nd Engineer
a marine engineer2
A Marine Engineer
  • Sept 2006 - Work with Coast Guard, Fishing, as engineer
  • March 2007 – Start “steady” work with SMIT, as 1st and Chief
  • Oct 2008 – Start with VShips Canada, on ATB, as Chief
a marine engineer3
A Marine Engineer
  • Participating Member of CIMarE since 1998
  • Married for 10 years, three boys - 6, 4, and 2
  • Modest house, two practical, 20 year old vehicles
  • Passionate about my work
  • www.dieselduck.net, started in 1999, 36,000+ visits/month
observations benefits
Observations - Benefits
  • Stimulating work environment
  • Satisfying work
  • Enjoy the camaraderie
  • Pride in being productive
  • Importance in team, ship and overall industry
  • Good pay (now)
  • Good time off (work life balance)
  • No work taken home
  • Travel and adventure, to some extent
  • Steady work, when you can get it
observations issues
Observations - Issues
  • Dysfunctional, antiquated and prohibitive licensing system
  • Job market inconsistent
  • Fragmented policies and enforcement
  • Lack of experienced people / seafarers ashore making decisions
  • Varying standards
  • HR people are lost in the maritime world
  • Most office staff, “owners” are lost in maritime world
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of relevant skills
  • Protection of incompetence
  • Tough career path from get go !
observations issues1
Observations - Issues
  • Short term thinking
  • Lack of foresight and planning for the future
  • Plenty of money in system, plenty wasted
  • Us versus them, me versus you
  • “Young engineers are ignorant and think they know it all” attitude
  • Old ships – increase workload, environmental footprint
  • Owners unable to compete without cutting corners
  • Dangerous and uncomfortable work environment
  • Inconsistent hiring practices and messages
  • Resistance to change
observations r esults
Observations - Results
  • Shortage of qualified, licensed engineers
  • Frustrated workforce
  • Fragmented workforce and varying standards
  • Difficult industry to work in
  • Not appealing or welcoming to new engineers
  • Family unfriendly
  • Leaves the industry, very least, not committed
  • High turnover
  • Unsafe ships
  • Costly in money, time, and safety
  • Expensive for ship operators

Blue Riband is a not for profit employee cooperative, focused on quality in the delivery of services to all aspect of sea-going marine engineering.


A hybrid of “best practices” from…

Large shipping enterprise, crewing agency, Union, Transport Canada, Class, International Shipping Industry, Pilots Association, CIMarE, Class, & other professional bodies – Doctors, PEng, Technologist.

what s in a name
What’s in a name

Blue Riband is the nautical “award” given to the fastest passenger ship, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. First awarded in 1838.

To be fast, a ship has to be engineered to be technologically superior. The work to achieve the Blue Riband was / is primarily done by the engineers and technologists, sailing and ashore. Holding the Blue Riband demands a great deal of expertise, foresight and dedication.

who we serve
Who we serve

PartnersInformed, trained and vetted. Quality focused and productive. Willing partner in the success of the client’s enterprise and the cooperative now, and in the future.

Ship Owner / ManagerUn coerced participant in the program. Focused on growing their business model.

Transport Canada, IMO, ClassAn important part in quality control and oversight.


Specialized workforce that only a professional body can deliver

Quality focused. Internal and competing business interest kept at bay by fact our “product” is singularly focused – high quality human capital.

Long term mentality. Ships are major capital investments, that need competent and steady expertise, to maintain optimal performance from machinery and its personnel.

Strong partners in an enterprise’s success


Total Shipboard Engineering Crew Solution

  • Blue Riband provide Marine Engineering professionals, for their client vessel’s shipboard operational needs.
  • Benefits to ship operators for this arrangement include...
  • Consistent, predictable costs and services
  • Skilled and motivated workforce
  • Future engineering supply management and development
  • Reduced bureaucracy and office staff costs
  • Reduced training cost

Shore side technical support

  • Blue Riband provides Marine Engineering professionals for short term shore side technical needs.
  • For instance
  • Capital project support
  • Accident investigation
  • Technical procedures development
  • Special training objectives and training facilities
  • Clients have access to strong expertise base, for audits and assessments of technical processes

Current Clients

  • Canada Steamship Line – Great Lakes bulker
  • BC Ferries – Passenger Ferries
  • Atlantic Towing – Tug and Offshore
  • SMIT Marine Canada - Tugs
  • Oceanex – General Cargo
  • Marine Atlantic – Passenger Ferries
  • Algoma – Great Lakes Bulker and Tankers

Clients – BC Ferries

Blue Riband provides all necessary engineering officers for the Spirit of Vancouver Island, at any time. The SOVI is just one vessels under contract.

The officers are familiarized to that class of vessel, and are competent in its systems, on top of having being vetted for regulatory conformity.

BC Ferries no longer needs to manage their pay and benefits. They no longer have to recruit engineers, a time consuming and specialized task, or to manage training requirements, required or optional.

They can focus on their customer’s needs, and achieve their business goals, knowing that their capital investments, are well looked after by competent personnel.


Engineering Cadets are the future, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Young engineer ought to be sailing, and be in position of authority onboard, as soon as competence is achieved and demonstrated.

Engineers must progress through all the ranks at a steady rate.

More experienced engineers, need to be mentors, and focusing on shore side operations, not necessarily sailing.

Ship owners need the expertise to make sound decisions, from experienced seagoing engineers, not MBA and accountants.


We have incentives and legislated motivation for ship operators to provide training berths aboard Canadian fleets

  • Established working relationships with deep sea companies “Engineering Farming”
  • Provide oversight and support to training centers and engineering schools
  • Embrace information sharing
  • Established mentoring program
  • Positive outlook on integration of foreign trained engineers – Immigration liaison support

Networking with training and licensing authorities world wide

  • Participating in regulatory input such as IMO Expert Working Groups, Transport Canada (CMAC, etc.), Class, etc.
  • Annual skills upgrading for Partners
  • Blue Riband operates its own training center, “one stop shop” with on site accommodations
  • Active in establishing and disseminating “Best Practices”

Blue Riband champions Marine Engineering and seafaring causes

  • Equitable income tax scheme for Canadian foreign going seafarers
  • Active recognition of seafarer rights such as Shore Leave, Communication access, etc.
  • Outreach to seafarer welfare organizations
  • Industry wide strategic government policies
  • Active Transport Canada role in regulation enforcement
  • Support for positive industry initiatives

Blue Riband is the sole authority delegated by the Government of Canada, Minister of Transport, to examine and certify Marine Engineers across Canada, according to its international obligations and standards.


Complete modernizing of Canada engineering examination and licensing system was undertaken, independently verified by Class.

  • To accepted IMO standards
  • Consistent with leading seafaring nations
  • Designed for positive success
  • Real objectives, not “pie in the sky” ideals
  • Streamlined for users
  • Clear and predictable path

License Structure

No re-invention of the wheel. Same license structure that is common worldwide, and have all grown accustom to.


Standardized License Examination Process

Applicable to all license levels.


Tangible benefits for Blue Riband partners

  • Daily pay rate
  • Day for day, month onmonth off rotation
  • Full suite of benefits from a self funded plan
  • Life insurance
  • Defined contribution retirement plan
  • Paid travel – door to door
  • Paid training and upgrading
  • Legal protection and license insurance

Non monetary benefits for

  • Blue Riband partners
  • Sustainable, family friendly career
  • Participation in your future
  • Clear career path
  • Vetted ships
  • Change ships without changing companies
  • Job outlook predictable
  • Surrounded by professional peers
  • Progressive and positive atmosphere
  • Decreased anxiety, less stress,
  • Better life quality

How to become a

  • Blue Riband Partner
  • Application
    • Certification Assessment
    • Experience Assessment
    • Reference Checks
  • Interview for suitability
    • English skills
    • Technology skills
    • Free form discussion
  • Simulator “Stress Test” for seagoing positions
  • Probationary Period for 6 months
  • Junior Partner for one year
  • Full Partner
  • Who can be a partner
  • New engineering cadets
  • Immigrant engineers
  • Licensed engineers
  • Naval Engineers
  • Related Experience professionals

Consistent quality is the objective.

Quality means that work is performed in varying conditions, by various people, but results will be consistent and can be planned on.

Having a process to plan and evaluate tasks with efficiencies in mind, but to gauge these against long term goals of sustainability, under the overarching umbrella of safely carrying out tasks.

Predictable results in every action taken.

Fact based decision making principals


ABC – Above and Beyond Compliance

  • Continuous training and upgrading is the cornerstone – give people the confidence through education.
  • Challenging the status quo and inviting innovating ideas.
  • Testing by pushing people out of their comfort zones where practical (simulator / sandbox).
  • Strong and inclusive decision making process.
  • Transparency
  • Active oversight, intrinsically built into the processes.
  • Third party oversight

Blue Riband is ISO 9001:2008 standards certified.

The purpose is not only in attaining certification to satisfy clients, but to the fundamental commitment of Blue Riband to constant improvements in the delivery of services to our clients, stakeholders and partners.


Decision making process is open, transparent, and inclusive of the stakeholders.

Three partners minimum involvedin procedural, standards setting, and disciplinary decision.

Additional votes is provided to stake holder, such as Transport Canada, Class or other Quality Assurance representative.

Additional votes is provided to clients representative.


BRight Idea Program

An internal Blue Riband success program that solicits, analyses, and champions new ideas, brought forth by any Partners, to improve the Quality and Efficiency of Blue Riband.

A group of Partners meet monthly, to discuss new ideas and suggestions, and present course of action on operational implementation.

Blue Riband improves its services, Blue Riband contributing Partner rewarded with cash or other tangible benefit. Success !

ultimate aim
Ultimate aim
  • To improve the Marine Engineering profession by making it a credible and sustainable career choice from the start of a career.
  • To modernize licensing standards and remove careers roadblocks.
  • To get Marine Engineers in control of their profession.
  • To increase training and match it to actual needs = increase quality
  • To pool resources from ship operators in order to assure them a reliable supply of trained Marine Engineers, at sea and on shore, licensed to modern worldwide standards, far into the future.
benefits to business models
Benefits to business models
  • Stabilizing affect on the transient tendencies of the workforce
  • Increased supply of experienced technical personal ashore
  • Stabilizing affect on wages at sea and ashore
  • Equalizing of “western” expertise representation at IMO
  • Younger workforce at sea
  • Sustainable career path for technical people
  • Predictable cadet intake, matching more realistic needs rather than marketer’s predictions
  • Increased technology transfer into Canadian industry from “deep sea”
benefits to business models1
Benefits to business models

By consequence

  • More adaption of technology
  • Increased safety and reliability
  • Increased production
  • Decreased environmental footprint
  • Increased export of Canadian expertise
  • Better work / life balance – quality of life
  • Peace and harmony…
exportable model
Exportable Model

The goal is to make Blue Riband a model - a standard in itself - exportable to different countries.

  • Australia with similar challenges potential adoptee of model, possibly South Africa, Venezuela.
  • Countries with important maritime needs, but suffering from fractured maritime policies.
more online www blueriband ca
More, online…


issues with this concept
Issues with this concept
  • Legallese
  • Bureaucracy
  • Cost / Seed money
  • Spearheading organization
  • Maritime community adoption
  • Deck side concern
  • Job of Unions, Government and Companies
single biggest issue to concept
Single biggest issue to concept


fear of Change


Current reality of Marine Engineering career

  • Sawmill

New to Cdn market

New to Cdn market

New to Cdn market

  • Seagoing
  • Seagoing
  • Operations & Regulators
  • Cadet
  • Watchkeeping Engineer
  • First Engineer
  • Chief Engineer
  • Tech Super
  • Service Tech
  • Inspector

To other


New to Cdn market

New to Cdn market

character of marine engineers
Character of Marine Engineers
  • Love beer
  • Are “frugal”
  • Engineers are self confident people
  • Make do, and adapt easily
  • Work independently
  • Work out of the “limelight”
  • Tenacious and passionate
  • Creative

= Problems

moving forward
Moving forward
  • Spread the word
  • Interest from community
  • Identify champion organization
  • High level discussion with Transport Canada
  • Investigate interest from Ship-owners
  • Where do Unions stand on this
  • ?