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5 reasons to build your career at Marine & Shipbuilders Local 506

Labour union is hiring welders, metal fabricators, and more to build Navy ships

Local 506 Marine & Shipbuilders is looking for qualified tradespeople to join them at the Vancouver Shipyard in North Vancouver to work on exciting large-scale projects.

Currently, the shipbuilders are constructing the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel and the Joint Support Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy. When completed, it will be the largest ship by length ever built in Canada! Future contracts include the polar icebreaker, the flagship of the Canadian Coast Guards’ icebreaking fleet. These Projects will bring long-term job stability for years to come.

The Local also recently completed building three offshore fisheries science vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard. These vessels will be the primary platform for fisheries and oceans in Canada to carry out science research missions.

“Most members are pretty happy and proud to be building these ships for Canada and Canada’s future,” Local 506’s Business Agent/Financial Secretary Shawn Sly says.

Right now, the union is recruiting welders, metal fabricators, and shipbuilders.

“We need hardworking people who are going to show up every day and take pride in their work,” Sly says. “Working in a skilled trade is more than just a job. It’s a rewarding career that gives you great benefits, good wages, secure pension and chances for advancement.”

Thinking of applying? Here are five reasons to build your career at Marine & Shipbuilders Local 506:

 1. Health benefits

The Marine & Shipbuilders Local 506 Health & Welfare Plan was established in May 1967 to provide group life and health benefits for eligible members and their covered dependents.

“We have a really good health and welfare plan for you and your family,” Sly says. 

Dental is 100% covered for cleanings and preventative services, hospital visits are covered, along with long- and short-term disability. The union also offers life insurance for members.

2. Great pension plan

Eligible Local 506 members are able to retire at 60 with no penalties. 

“We have a really good pension package,” Sly says. “Members agreed to put some their own money into the pension so that everyone has the option to retire early.”

3. Commitment to workplace safety

“We always advocate for better safety standards and more safety supply,” Sly says.

One of the union’s roles is ensuring it provides its members with the opportunity to work in a safe, healthy workplace environment. 

The union looks out for the best interests of its members, proactively working to safeguard against workplace injuries.

4. Career advancement

Build your career with Local 506. Members frequently have the opportunity to upgrade their skills and develop new skills, including specialized welding or steel fabrication techniques specific to the shipbuilding industry.

The union also offers apprenticeships that usually take four years to complete. Apprenticeship is a proven industry-based learning system that combines on-the-job experience with technical training to produce a certified Journeyperson. During this time, apprentices will work alongside skilled tradespeople at the shipyard in the trade they’ve chosen. 

Once they’ve received their ticket, apprentices will be recognized as skilled professionals in their chosen trade. Local 506’s apprenticeships are open to women, men, and youth and are a great way to earn as you learn.

5. Paid vacation time

Dedicated time off is the key to a healthy work-life balance. 

Local 506 Marine & Shipbuilders are eligible for paid time off.

“Everyone gets vacation, which starts at two weeks a year,” Sly says.  

After two years, the paid time off jumps to three weeks, and the amount of eligible time off grows with years of service.

To learn more about opportunities with Local 506 Marine & Shipbuilders, visit