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CCG has the confidence of Canadians primarily because of its professional, dedicated workforce. The recent emphasis on human resource planning in the Agency’s Business Plan 2007-2010 is helping to ensure that Fleet has the skilled and professional seagoing personnel it needs to deliver its services into the future.

The majority of CCG employees are seagoing personnel, serving Canadians at sea, while the remaining work in operational positions ashore. In addition to the 2,485 seagoing personnel within Fleet, some 180 (7%) provide shore-based operational support and management services in the ROCs, regional offices and headquaters (see Table 1 for Seagoing Personnel Statistics).

Table 1: Snapshot of the Seagoing Personnel Statistics as of October 2006
  NLMAC&AQCPANationally
SHIP OFFICERS (SO)
On Strength (FTE1) 171 238 103 158 178 848
On Strength (Term) 2 4 4 18 11 39
Total SO’s On-Strength 173 242 107 176 189 887
Average Age (FTE) 44 47 43 44 45 45
Males 165 222 92 146 161 786
Females 6 16 11 12 17 62
Aged 45 to 54 72 108 40 67 81 368
Aged 55 to 59 10 34 13 15 19 91
Aged 60 or Greater 6 10 2 3 5 26
SHIP CREWS (SC)
On Strength (FTE) 285 349 142 210 276 1,262
On Strength (Term) 102 57 26 60 91 336
Total SC’s On-Strength 387 406 168 270 367 1,598
Average Age (FTE) 49 49 46 49 45 48
Males 269 336 135 182 250 1,172
Females 16 13 7 28 26 90
Aged 45 to 54 126 194 65 125 111 621
Aged 55 to 59 56 47 17 39 34 193
Aged 60 or Greater 20 25 5 3 14 67
Total 560 648 275 446 556 2,485

1 Full-time equivalent

There are a number of circumstances that influence both current operational human resource needs and longer term strategic planning. These include:

  • A high percentage of Fleet’s most experienced personnel are eligible to retire or are nearing retirement eligibility;
  • Canada’s marine industry is highly competitive. Trained Fleet personnel can be lured to the private sector and recruitment competition has heightened in recent years (although our attrition rate of only 2.4% is very low by industry standards);
  • Fleet continues to strive to meet its employment equity and official languages targets among seagoing personnel;
  • For the average Canadian, there are many other options than a career at sea. The Fleet needs to be seen as a professional workplace that is committed to staff development; and
  • Seagoing personnel must adapt to the evolving role of the Fleet as it responds to changing client needs, new technologies and environmental changes.

In the context of these challenges, Fleet is focusing its human resource efforts in three main areas: recruitment, retention and training.

The Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia is instrumental in helping CCG develop the professionally trained staff needed to satisfy program and service requirements. It delivers the Coast Guard Officer Training Program, which is the primary source of ships’ officers recruits. In addition, it delivers a career program in MCTS Training, as well as highly specialized training in the areas of SAR, environmental response, and marine maintenance and equipment training.

The Fleet and the Coast Guard College are working together to develop a national Ships’ Crew Recruitment Framework to meet future crewing requirements. The present and future challenges in workforce recruitment, retention, and training will require ongoing collaboration, and must be guided by a framework based on long-term needs assessment and effective planning and delivery, while continuing to meet training needs as they arise.

Maritime professionals
Maritime professionals delivering equipment to Langara Island,
off the Queen Charlotte Islands

Photo: PA Region

Employee Awarded Cross of Valour

In 2006, First Officer Leslie Arthur Palmer was awarded the Cross of Valour by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada. This award, which has been presented to only 20 people since it was created in 1972, recognizes “acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.”

First Officer Palmer received Canada’s highest civilian bravery award for his courageous actions on the stormy night of December 27, 2004. Two fishermen were stranded along the shores of British Columbia's Grenville Channel after their fishing trawler capsized. The CCGC Point Henry responded to the distress call. The crew spotted a light flashing through the winter storm, and Palmer used a small rubber boat to reach the channel’s shore. The breaking surf and winds gusting up to a hundred knots (185 km/h) forced him to land a half-kilometre away from the survivors. Palmer braved the cold, ice, and wind, walking for an hour in the hip-deep snow until he reached the two men, who were huddled inside a life raft.

After assessing the situation, Palmer retrieved vital survival gear and medical equipment from the CCGC Point Henry, and returned to the barely responsive victims. He worked courageously to keep the two fishermen warm and alive for another four hours, before medical help could reach them. This was one of 700 rescues in which Palmer has been involved over the course of his career.

CCGS Samuel Risley

CCGS Samuel Risley, High Endurance Multitasked Vessel/Light Icebreaker

Photo: C&A Region

Captain Lise Marchand and Helmsman Claudiu Caoda
Captain Lise Marchand and Helmsman Claudiu Caoda
Photo: QC Region

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