Ship repair a great venue for a fulfilling career

Ship repair a great venue for a fulfilling career

MARPAC Public Affairs ~

Can you imagine having a trade, certifications, and a well-paying job with benefits that you enjoy – all without student loans?

That’s what Lachlan Palmer has.

When still in high school and just 17-years-old, he applied for a student co-operative education term at Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) Cape Breton at CFB Esquimalt. As a successful applicant, he took part in the co-op program after graduating from high school in July and August of 2012.  He was paid for his work that summer, making him one of the few students at his age to earn an income so quickly after graduation.

After completing the co-operative education at FMF, he was then offered a four-year apprenticeship program as a pipe-fitter. He began the apprenticeship that November and completed it in 2016 – obtaining his Journeyman Ticket in pipefitting.

Following his appren­ticeship, he then “bridged” into full-time employment at FMF. Now at 24, he has been working with FMF for nearly seven years. He also received additional training during that time, which was all paid for by his employer, the Government of Canada. He obtained his steam-fitting/pipe-fitting and gas-fitting tickets, as well as qualifications in high pressure brazing. He is currently one of only two employees at FMF who can conduct brazing work on submarines.

“I am very fortunate that my shop teacher told me about the co-op program when I was in high school, which made all of this possible.”

The bonus is Palmer enjoys his job. From working on submarines to climbing ship’s masts to checking lines, to working in FMF’s new facilities, there’s never a dull moment. He enjoys playing a role in getting ships out to sea to protect our coasts through his work.

His connection to ship work has also seeped into his personal life. He purchased a boat which he currently lives on. His work in ship maintenance has enabled him to do his own repairs.

“Compared to most of my peers, I am doing pretty well. I have a good job that I enjoy, a great lifestyle, and no student debt.”

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