Canadian shipbuilder J.D. Irving Ltd. kicked off a campaign to hire no less than 7,900 workers with a job fair in Sussex, New Brunswick today.

Irving has received substantial shipbuilding contracts from the government, but it appears that the company is looking to fill positions in other parts of its operations as well.

The company said the job fair is targeting skilled tradespersons and professionals for its New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island operations. The fair is being held at the All Seasons Inn, at 1015 Main Street, Sussex, NB from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

The announcement said Irving is looking for applicants in the following areas:

Skilled Trades
• Millwrights, Welders, Industrial Electricians, Industrial Mechanics, Maintenance, Machine Operators, Labourers

• Engineering, Accounting, Human Resources, Information Technology, Supply Chain, Administration, Production Supervisors

• Contractors, Operators, Truck Drivers

There’s no need to worry if you miss the fair because the company will be hiring for some time.

“Over the next three years, we are forecasting almost 7900 hires across our operations across Canada and in the US,” a press release from Irving said. “The forecast is the result of retirements, anticipated business growth and normal workforce turnover.”

The operations with the highest job opportunities include retail business, manufacturing operations, shipbuilding, supply chain, logistics and engineering, according to the release.

“When we look at our three-year forecast from 2016-2018, 89 per cent of the positions we need to fill are in the Atlantic provinces,” said Jeff Green, director of talent recruitment with JDI. “65 per cent of those jobs are in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia alone.”

The company said it is also working with local universities and community colleges through co-op programs, case competitions, equipment donations, scholarships and paid internships.


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Between this year and 2018, Irving will be taking in 2,000 paid interns and co-op workers.

Irving’s business covers transportation, forestry consumer products and shipbuilding.

The company got the largest chunk contracts under the Royal Canadian Navy’s $39-billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).

Irving was awarded a $26-billion contract a part of the combat vessel package. Seaspan of Vancouver got the smaller $8-billion non-combat vessel contract and Quebec’s Chartier Davie won the much smaller $587-million civilian tanker retrofit contract.

Irving has begun work to build six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships for the navy for $2.3-billion.