Marine workforce at a glance

In Quebec, maritime careers are effectively promoted, but there’s still work to be done to ensure strong succession in marine transportation.

That was the message from Claude Mailloux, Executive Director, Human Resources Sectorial Committee of the Maritime Industry (CSMOIM), on February 10, at the conference on Quebec’s maritime strategy conference organized by Les Affaires.

According to a 2013 study, 360 employers in the Quebec marine industry employ 13,200 workers. All these jobs are directly related to marine transportation. One third of these employees work on merchant or passenger ships. The other two thirds hold jobs on land.


Shipowners employ close to half of these workers (47%), with the remainder divided among marine services (21%) and port services (28%). There were 2,000 hires over 3 years.



The industry is currently facing a shortage of workers. However, Claude Mailloux points out that the promotional campaign conducted among high school students since 2008 by the Sectorial Committee and the Institut maritime du Québec has been successful. From 2008 to 2013, applications to navigation programs rose 64%, and 116% to marine mechanical engineering programs, leading to offshore jobs.

Activities such as Maritime Career Day, set to take place on March 26 at the Montreal Science Centre and the Port of Montreal, a proud partner of this event, raise considerable interest. Hundreds of young people are expected to attend.

“We have to keep up our efforts if we want to maintain this interest in maritime careers, because even that’s not enough to meet industry needs,” said Claude Mailloux.

Claude Mailloux, Executive Director, Human Ressources
Sectorial Committee of the Maritime Industry

Jobs at sea are varied. Aboard ship, there are deckhands, helmsmen, seamen in the engine room, cooks and officers. Based on their patent and experience, their career path can take them aboard all kinds of vessels, freight and and passenger transport alike, or on service vessels such as tugs.

Jobs for officers require academic training available through a marine institute. In Quebec, the Institut maritime du Québec (IMQ) in Rimouski provides this training. Once launched on their careers, the new nautical officers can advance to higher levels. They will then have to obtain the necessary certification through continuing education. Some management courses will also be very useful for Captain or Chief Engineering Officer positions. In addition, their experience at sea and their skills will open doors to jobs ashore in operations or maritime administration, such as director of operations, ship manager, crew manager, harbour master, port terminal superintendent and many others.

The Sectorial Committee, the IMQ and their partner companies strive to give maritime careers the highest possible visibility. They also work to improve the training available to employed workers to streamline their career advancement. “Ensuring effective succession both offshore and onshore is a long-term task that never ends. But it’s an exciting project,” concluded Claude Mailloux.