Fall marine training replicates life on a ship, ‘as real life as possible’

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The Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium is offering two rounds of pre-training courses in Iqaluit come September, as well as another round of the Kisarvik Program.

Instructor Barry Hynick teaches a class at the Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium’s school in Iqaluit in late 2016. The consortium is offering two pre-training programs and the Kisarvik Program in the fall. The students pictured here are, in no particular order: Tommy Naglingniq, Alex Akikulu, Brad Nutarak, Michael Inuarak, Kyle Aglukkaq, Thomas Aggark, David Netser, Manuel Kootoo-Decouto, Leslie Manniapik and Joseph Macpa.
NNSL file photo

“The pre-training program is really an introduction to what the marine industry is all about,” said executive director Elizabeth Cayen.

“First of all, we want to make sure, for them, that they’re really interested in the marine industry because a lot of times they hear things. They always hear about the big money. But are they really suited for that life?”

The course is two weeks long and run like life on a ship.

“You have to be in your seat at 8:30 because if you aren’t the ship has sailed,” said Cayen.

Drugs and alcohol are absolutely not allowed and accommodations need to be kept shipshape

“And we try to use marine terms as much as possible. Even in terms of time. If your class starts at 1:00 p.m., it starts at 13:00.

Cayen says absolutely anyone in Nunavut can apply.

The Kisarvik Program includes some pre-training material, but adds Bridge Watch 1 – a course that prepares students to be employed as safe and efficient workers on board a marine vessel. A successful student will exit the course with myriad certificates.

Kisarvik, first run as a pilot program in the fall of 2016, was designed to also teach essential life skills, including literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, form-filling, budgeting and banking, and resume-writing.

As co-ordinating instructor Capt. Randy Pittman has previously explained, Kisarvik means safe place to anchor, save haven, good bottom, and good foundation.

“It’s meant for people who have more than one challenge. Let’s face it everybody in Nunavut has challenges – we’re a rural community across the board so that is challenging in itself. With Kisarvik we try to aim for the younger crowd, so 18 to 30, 35,” said Cayen.

“A lot of them won’t have high school. They may have challenges with never having left home. They don’t know what that’s all about. They may have challenges academically. They’ll have challenges maybe with things like daycare or family challenges. A lot of them have never gone high school.”

Cayen says some Kisarvik students apply for the program by way of

In the fall, the Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium will offer two rounds of two-week pre-training courses, as well as another round of the Kisarvik Program.
Michele LeTourneau/NNSL photo

a high school teacher who sees the potential but the young person has never had the chance to prove themselves.

“We are a strict operation. We try to make it as real life as possible. One of the things that we try to teach in the Kisarvik Program is: what is work?  A lot of people do not understand what work really is. It means having to show up on time every day. So those are things we’ve tried to instill in them. What a work ethic is and what is demanded in the marine industry,” said Cayen.

The two-week pre-training courses takes place at consortium’s school in Iqaluit Sept. 9 to 13 and again Sept. 16 to 20. The Kisarvik Program takes place at the school from Sept. 23 to Dec. 13.