A reinvigorated aquaculture industry, coupled with an expected summertime hiring frenzy, means some of Vancouver Island’s best new jobs this summer might just be . . . underwater.
“Summer may be more than a few months off, but employers are already starting to plan for the busy season,” explains Kelly Korol, director of training for Campbell River’s DiveSafe International, one of Canada’s leading commercial dive training organizations.
“The past few summers have seen things really booming in the dive industry, particularly here on the Island, and this year looks to be more of the same. The re-opening of several fish farms on the coast, along with international demand for certain seafood items like urchins and geoduck, has paved the way for improved job opportunities for commercial divers. We’re already getting inquiries about course graduation dates from our contacts in the industry.”
To meet the increased demand, DiveSafe International has added a five-week Occupational SCUBA diver course starting April 24. The course is timed so that when students graduate on May 26, they’ll be ready to capitalize on the increased requests for summertime divers.
“This course is a great first step into diving professionally and comes at the perfect time – not only in terms of job availability but in terms of the state of the industry,” says Korol.
DiveSafe’s new course comes hot off the heels of another recent addition to its course schedule, also added to keep pace with rising demand for qualified divers. The Unrestricted Surface Supply (USS) diver course, which DiveSafe first offered in January, covers everything from underwater welding to compression chambers, preparing graduates to handle anything to do with construction, aquaculture, harvesting and even research. The next USS course, which Korol calls “the ultimate diving course,” is set to start in August.
“For those who’ve already got some certification, the USS course is the next logical step,” says Korol. “The students who are currently enrolled are having a great time, and there are significant early registration incentives for the August course.
“If you want to work in the commercial diving industry, now’s the time to make it happen,” he adds. “You have an opportunity right now to get a steady, high-paying job that’s also a lot of fun.”