Indigenous Career Pivot Program

Discover the Indigenous Career Pivot Program: An initiative supporting Indigenous Peoples interested in pursuing a career in the maritime sector and the rapidly growing ocean economy by providing work placement opportunities.

Connecting Indigenous Peoples to the ocean economy

The Indigenous Career Pivot Program facilitates meaningful work placements for mid-career Indigenous Peoples wishing to explore and pursue careers in ocean-based industries. The program mobilizes a network of 460+ maritime organizations and companies, from coast to coast to coast, to support Indigenous employment in this key sector of the Canadian economy.

Learn more about the program from Sarah Thomas, Clear Seas’ Director of Indigenous and Coastal Community Relations:

The opportunity

Indigenous participants embark on a 12-month placement support program focused on creating full-time positions. Through their placements, the candidates acquire hands-on experience in maritime-related industries, build new competencies, and strengthen existing knowledge by mobilizing their skillsets and natural aptitudes.

The program offers competitive compensation packages as well as a range of professional development opportunities to the Indigenous workforce, including:

  • Full orientation and onboarding process
  • A work-integrated learning plan
  • Online development courses
  • Career building conferences and workshops
  • Mentoring support provided by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and the hiring organization
  • Intercultural Competency Training
  • A peer support network

Both Indigenous Peoples looking for a career in ocean-related industries and Ocean Supercluster member organizations looking to hire Indigenous talent can enroll in the program.

How to apply

Indigenous candidates

The program is open to Indigenous Peoples across Canada seeking a new career opportunity in the ocean economy. It is ideal for individuals looking to advance or shift their careers, re-enter the workforce after a leave or an injury, or find their place in the maritime sector. Indigenous Peoples from all backgrounds and levels of education can apply.

Apply now

To ensure strong employee-employer matches as well as meaningful and long-lasting placements, successful candidates will participate in a pre-employment assessment. A wide range of employment opportunities in fields such as administration, business, marketing, project management and software design are offered as part of the program. Placements may require on-site or remote work.

Hiring organizations

The program is open to all Ocean Supercluster Associate and Industry Members interested in expanding their teams and hiring Indigenous talents. Interested organizations that are not yet members of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster can apply to the program, but will be required to become members if they are selected. Organizations looking to fill multiple positions are invited to submit one application per open position.

Wage subsidies may be available if employers meet the following requirements:

Employer eligibility

  • You are an eligible employer if you are a non-profit organization, registered charity, small- or medium-sized enterprise, or a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC) that employs less than 100 people;
  • Employers who agree to provide full time employment (30-40 hours per week) to Indigenous individuals;
  • Employers who have already taken part in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training at the Managerial level;
  • Employers who provide work experience, skills training, and ongoing learning with the intent to hire the individual on a full-time basis upon completion of the subsidy.

Additional information

  • Funds may be provided for skills training in partnership with the employer;
  • The length of time and the amount of wage subsidy provided is dependent on the needs of the individual and the employer;
  • The percentage of wages covered under this program will be negotiated and will be based on need;
  • The length of time and the amount of wage subsidy provided is dependent on available funding and;
  • An application and contract must be negotiated and signed prior to the candidate commencing employment.

Enroll my organization today

Frequently asked questions about the program

Typical hiring timelines range from 2 to 5 weeks, as placements depend on the candidates’ skills and interests, and the employers’ needs and available positions.

Placement positions are determined by each organization, based on their specific needs. For example, the offered positions could be in the logistics, administrative, or technical fields and range from entry level to senior management level. Applications from hiring organizations are weighted based on the opportunity for continued employment and advancement they provide to candidates.

New participating organizations set the salaries for the placement positions and may be eligible for an employee wage subsidy. Employers submit claims monthly, on a reimbursement basis.

Your hiring organization will develop a work-integrated learning plan outlining the professional development activities deemed necessary to ensure you get the most out of your placements. Your training plan may include requirements to complete short courses and attend workshops and conferences.

The Cultural Competency Education is a training program to help hiring organizations identify the potential barriers to Indigenous employment in their workplaces, increase the retention of Indigenous employees, and offer safe cultural environments within the workplace through inclusion and diversity plans.

Membership is not required to submit an application. However, your organization will have to become either an Industry or an Associate member if selected. More information on Ocean Supercluster memberships is available here.

Candidates and organizations: please send your questions by email at or call (778) 730-1369

For further information about Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, please contact Ralph Eldridge at

About the Indigenous Career Pivot Program

Launched and piloted in 2021 by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, the Indigenous Career Pivot Program promotes workplace inclusion and diversity across ocean-related industries by providing Indigenous Peoples with the opportunity to explore new career paths in safe and supportive work environments. The program also enhances the cultural competencies of participating organizations by providing them with valuable tools to attract and retain talent. Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping has been selected to lead the program as of 2022, implementing and deploying this important initiative from coast to coast to coast.

The program is funded by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) and led by Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping in partnership with the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society, the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and the College of the North Atlantic.

Published April 5, 2022

Last modified on November 18, 2022