With a new facility and a growing demand from industry, P.E.I.'s Holland College is expecting big increases in enrollment at its commercial diving program.

The program relocated from Georgetown to the Marine Centre in Summerside this month. There is more space and they no longer have to use a diving tank for instruction, because they're only 100 meters from the water.

This year there are 12 students in the program, but next year they expect as many as 32. Instructor Stephen White said part of that increase will come from the increased exposure of being in the Marine Centre.

"Somebody that's a captain of a ship, he knows other dive companies. These are people that use divers, so word gets out amongst the industry," said White.

But the school is also developing an international reputation. Student Evan Palmer, a native of Moncton, decided to return to Canada to take this particular course. "They've a good reputation; they're known all around the world," said Palmer.

"I heard about it when I was actually in Australia."

White said the push for alternative energy in the Maritimes will create a lot of work for commercial divers in the coming years.

"Offshore wind farms, for instance, is a big one that's coming up now. Tidal power in the Bay of Fundy, there's a big project there," he said.

Despite the increase in enrollment and graduates, White does not expect his students will have any trouble finding work they have finished the course.

source: CBC