Premier Darrell Dexter congratulated Irving Shipbuilding and the federal government on successfully negotiating the umbrella agreement that will have Nova Scotia build Canada’s next fleet of combat ships. “Congratulations to Jim Irving, Steve Durrell, and all Irving employees for proving once again that they are up to this task,” said Premier Dexter today, Jan. 12. “The province will continue to work with Irving and the Ships Start Here partnership to make sure the members of our military go to work on the best ships possible. Ships start here. The future starts here.” The province’s new workforce strategy does a number of things to help the province get ready for this work. It invests in sector councils, post-secondary co-ops and internships. It will also connect people to shipbuilding and other high-value jobs by promoting a new Careers Nova Scotia website, a virtual one-stop shop for skills, learning and training opportunities available in Nova Scotia. The province held its first of many supplier development days in November to outline what the opportunity will mean for suppliers throughout the province. Premier Dexter committed to support Irving’s bid with an investment in training and infrastructure. The details of this support will be announced as the contracts for the Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels are confirmed and announced in the months ahead. “The years leading up to building these vessels will involve much prep work, construction and improvements to the yard,” said Premier Dexter. “We have a long, but exciting road ahead of us.” The contracts, estimated at $25 billion, will help the province turn a corner on 20 years of slow economic growth in Atlantic Canada. It will mean an additional 11,500 jobs for Nova Scotians and will increase the province’s GDP by almost $900 million during peak production years. The Canadian economy is expected to grow by $1.5 billion, and 4,500 jobs will be created outside of Nova Scotia.