07/17/2015 09:04 EDT | Updated 07/17/2016 05:59 EDT

B.C., Nova Scotia sign agreement on shipbuilding, more co-operation promised

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Nova Scotia and British Columbia have signed an agreement that will make it easier for workers to move between shipbuilding projects in the two provinces.

Irving Shipyards in Halifax and Seaspan Shipyards in Vancouver have both secured exclusive bidding rights for lucrative contracts to build new ships for Canada's navy.

The two provinces will now work on a memorandum of understanding to implement the agreement. It will focus on sharing best practices in marine trades training and exploring joint training.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said the deal ensures the two provinces that are now the country's shipbuilding centres can build on skilled trades and co-operate to stimulate the industry.

"This is a perfect partnership, and one in which our economies and our workers will benefit," he said in a news release.

"Working together we will deliver top notch training for our skilled trades workers and help ensure our respective labour market needs continue to be met as these industries grow."

B.C. Premier Christy Clark says the two provinces can also collaborate on training and sharing labour pools as the projects progress.

"Shipbuilding and ship repair is worth billions of dollars in our two provinces and we will continue to need trained workers in the coming years," Clark said in a statement. "This agreement means employers will have access to a deeper talent pool, and workers will have more opportunities in a growing economy."