Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 22, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. / BC Ferries was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2018):
- Located in beautiful downtown Victoria, BC Ferries head office employees can take advantage of nearby shops, restaurants and cafes, while many operational employees spend their working days travelling through some of the country's most beautiful scenery every day
- BC Ferries helps employees plan for a secure future with retirement planning assistance and contributions to a defined benefit pension plan
- BC Ferries employees can receive new employee referral bonuses when they successfully recruit a friend
A progressive workplace anchors BC Ferries
John McCulloch has sailed around the world as cruise ship engineer, logging thousands of sea miles and seen dozens of countries around the globe. But it was the all-encompassing safety culture that made him decide to drop anchor at British Columbia Ferry Services.
"What really amazes me is the safety culture -- it's nothing like I've seen in any of the different companies I've worked for," says McCulloch, Chief Engineer of the MV Queen of Oak Bay.
"I've been around the world and I have to say BC Ferries' safety culture stands out a million miles ahead of everybody that I've seen."
McCulloch is part of a vast BC Ferries team that includes on-board crews, ferry terminal personnel, support staff and others that provide year-round vehicle and passenger service on 25 routes to 47 terminals with a fleet of 35 vessels. Headquartered in Victoria, the company is one of the largest ferry operators in the world, connecting coastal communities and facilitating the movement of people, goods and services.
BC Ferries offers employees like McCulloch a comprehensive benefits package that includes progressive work-life balance, contributions to a defined benefit pension plan, referral bonuses when they successfully recruit a colleague, and health and wellness programs.
But for McCulloch, it's the training and education programs that really float his boat, like SEA (Standardized Education and Assessment) Training, management development and other programs offered through BC Ferries Academy.
"Our Standardized Education and Assessment program has received international recognition for its customized programs that are specific to every single job, vessel, route and terminal. Our crews are fully prepared to spring into action," says Aggie Strzelecka, Manager, Employee Development.
"Our focus on skills enhancement, career progression and commitment to continuous learning allows our employees to be always at the top of the industry. We pride ourselves in having a very progressive workplace."
Part of the seamless passenger experience is the work of engineers like McCulloch and their teams who are often below decks and out of sight of the public. A veteran of nine years at BC Ferries, he's worked with both P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises where he would be away from home for months at a time. Now, he has better work-life balance.
"One really nice thing about BC Ferries is you can look forward to coming home every day," he says. "With cruise ships, I was on contracts ranging from four to six months. Now I can come home every night."