The Strait Area Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) has unveiled upgrades to its internationally recognized Nautical Institute’s navigation simulator.
With $849,170 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Community Fund, the campus has also added a new marine voltage simulator, which officials said will create further training opportunities to better prepare students for highly skilled jobs in the industry.
“It is a great announcement,” Strait Area Campus Principal Tom Gunn told the Casket, just a couple hours after a formal announcement celebrating the federal funding and campus improvements.
The enhancements, ones described as ‘state of the art,’ include new digital software that simulates ice conditions and Arctic navigation, facilitating work with industry in the Northwest Passage.
Gunn noted that same day (Nov. 14) was the first formal day of operation for the equipment.
“We have been playing with them over the past couple weeks, but now they are up and running,” he said.
Describing it as “great news,” the campus principal talked about having the “most state-of-the-art” technology in the Maritimes.
Gunn said preparation work has been taking place for the past three months.
“It is primarily for those working in the industry,” he added, when asked who will be benefitting from the equipment and technology.
President Don Bureaux, in a press release, said “NSCC is committed to infusing leading-edge technology into all of our learning opportunities.”
“For more than 140 years, the Nautical Institute at our Strait Area Campus has prepared cadets for successful careers at sea by immersing them into a learning environment like no other,” he added.
Bureaux described the marine voltage simulator as “an important addition to our on-site, hands-on-approach to learning, which allows our cadets and industry partners to access national and international standard training.”
Gunn said, last year, more than 1,200 people came to the campus for upgrading and re-certification.
Like Bureaux, he talked about the technology as a requirement for the campus’s cadet program, with students training to become master mariners and captains.
“It certainly enhances the learning experience,” Gunn said.
He agreed it is also technology in demand for companies across Canada.
“We want to keep them well-utilized,” he said, describing it as a “big investment.”
The newly-operational technology includes a full navigation bridge, including the aforementioned high voltage simulator, which is now common on big ocean-going vessels.
The Nautical Institute – the oldest marine training institution in Canada – is more than 145 years old.
“Innovation is critical to Atlantic Canada’s economic success, and job prospects in the commercial marine sector are significant. This project enhances the world-class training available at NSCC’s Nautical Institute, helping Nova Scotians continue to gain lucrative careers at sea,” Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner said.