A special initiative to address seasonal workers’ employment gap will run until March 31, 2019. The Government of Canada is working with the Government of PEI to ensure that workers in seasonal industries have access to skills training and employment supports when they need them most.
The PEI Seasonal Worker Skills Initiative will be delivered through Workplace Learning PEI. Essentials skills training will be client driven and will consider the specific needs and workplace duties of participants. The training is considered professional development. Workshops will be conducted in a welcoming room with hot coffee and refreshments.
Seasonal workers interested in the project can call 902-368-6280.
The Seasonal Worker Skills Initiative is looking for placement opportunities for those whose EI has ended and are looking for short-term employment before they return to their seasonal work.
Employers could be eligible to receive a wage subsidy to host a seasonal worker for a short work term.
Employer enquiries can be directed to SkillsPEI at 902-438-4114.
Employer speaks of the benefits
Anytra Eterovich is the Chief Administrative Officer with the Town of Borden-Carleton. She speaks highly of the positive impact of the seasonal worker project. “In the past, our three seasonal staff did not work long enough to earn enough EI weeks to support them until they returned for the next season.”
The town would have had to find the money for the extra weeks of work to give the staff the hours they required. This program is a win/win for everyone because people can come back earlier for training and work or extend the work time at the end of the season.
“We don’t always have the budget to extend the work, so this support from SkillsPEI really makes a difference. The employees were very happy about getting extra weeks of work. The extra weeks at the end makes sure that they won’t run out of EI for the next work season.”
Anytra has worked with the municipality for nine years, and has seen the same staff returning to the seasonal positions year after year. “This system helps us maintain our staff, who rely on this work for their livelihood, and we rely on them for their skill set and availability.”
She says the essential skills training was very well received after the initial introduction. “It can be intimidating for those who have been out of the school system or any type of training for many years. All the staff really loved the training and were encouraged by it.
“SkillsPEI and Workplace Learning PEI staff were great to work with to set this up. The training made a great impact because it was customized to what skills they need on the job.”
Quotes from participants who took the training
These quotes are from staff at the Tignish Health Centre:
“We live in a community that is based on seasonal work. It can be tough to live on the wages that are available. The extended weeks are a great help. It really can reduce the financial stress.” – Joan-Ann Gavin
“The idea of training was very intimidating when I heard it was a component of the program. I had not been in a classroom in years! However, being back in a learning environment was not bad at all. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.” – Lorraine Peters
Funding is provided through the Canada-PEI labour market agreements.