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Leadership Program

Time and time again we hear of labour shortages on the horizon for the workforce in Canada .  Due to future trends, such as an aging population, there is a good chance that it will become more difficult to secure a labour force in the future.  Nova Scotia and the fishing industry in particular is no exception to this trend.

The fishing industry in Nova Scotia hosts on any given day 80 plus associations.  These associations are sometimes referred to as the backbone of the fishing industry and are run by many dedicated volunteers.  Many of these organizations may have come about due to a particular issue/concern, may be sector related, multi species, and single species or are working on issues that are of common concern.   There is much strength in having these organizations and they have housed many a strong leader to deliver the mandate of the association.

In order to maintain strong leadership within these associations, the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council with the help of industry representatives took the initiative to develop a leadership program specifically for the fishing industry.   There are two target groups for this program, the first being for young people who are becoming more active within their associations and show potential for becoming a leader in the future.  The second group would be for those that are currently leaders of their associations but would like to improve on some of their skills.

The underlying premise of this program is that leadership is not just a position but rather it’s “behaviour”. The behaviour is based on a set of skills and abilities. People who want to learn to lead can achieve great improvement learning the theory of leadership and by practicing various techniques.

The modules presented as part of the program are a mix of general leadership skills and practices applied specifically to issues and challenges faced by those participating in the fishing industry. The sessions will be presented on a tiered level.  Each level is two days in duration.

Sessions will be designed to be fast-paced and high-energy, with interaction between facilitator and participants, and among the participants themselves. No session will be more than 45 minutes to one hour. There will be no tests or exams associated with the program.

The levels will include:
Level I: General Leadership/Managing Conflict/Introduction to Policy Development
Level II: Communication/How to Effect Change/Fisheries Policy
Level III: Organizational Issues and Simulation – “Response to a Crisis”

In addition to the course component of the program, each participant will also have a mentor assigned. This person will be an experienced industry leader and they will be available to support the participant as they apply what they have been exposed to through the program.

Essential Skills Modules

The Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (CCPFH), in partnership with the National Literacy Secretariat developed a total of four essential skills modules that focus on reading, comprehension, writing, mathematics, communications and computer skills.  Each module is very specific to the fishing industry.

The Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council partnered with the CCPFH to adapt the Groundfish Handling Practices program into an essential skills module that would improve on reading and comprehension.

The project aimed at developing a 20-hour essential skills training module adapted to the fish harvester’s needs and interests in improving fish handling. It will link to and build on the 30-minute instructional video documenting specific improvements in at-sea fish handling and the instructor’s guide and supplementary course materials developed in the earlier project.    

If you would like to view the available training modules please check out the following link: 


Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council
38 B John Street,
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia B5A 3H2
Phone: (902) 742-6167  Fax: (902) 742-8391