Seafarer shortage prompts Canada to allow more foreign nationals on its vessels

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > Government > Seafarer shortage prompts Canada to allow more foreign nationals on its vessels

Transport Canada has expanded its Reciprocal Arrangement Program to address the shortage of Canadian seafarers by signing agreements with Georgia, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. The program allows certified seafarers from these countries to work on Canadian vessels. The move has caused concern among Canadian mariners who are already facing a shortage of personnel, particularly those with high-level certificates of competency. The Canadian Merchant Service Guild has called for programs to assess the qualifications of new Canadians who previously worked as seafarers in other countries. The guild emphasizes the need to prioritize qualified Canadians for available positions and closely monitor the impact of using foreign nationals. They stress the importance of consulting unions and ensuring that foreign seafarers meet legal requirements and are only employed when no qualified Canadians are available.

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