After months of collaborative efforts, the Prince Edward Island Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning is pleased to have the final version of Engaging Our Workforce for Today and into the Future – 2016-2019 Strategic Plan.
Please find the electronic version of the plan here.
Workforce and Advanced Learning: The Minister and the department
While heading a brand government department can sound a bit intimidating, Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Richard Brown was eager to get started, and he hasn’t looked back.
The department, Workforce and Advanced Learning, has a clear and straightforward mission. It’s all about matching people from the Island workforce with job opportunities that exist in PEI’s labour market.
The department works collaboratively with educators and entrepreneurs to see that workers have the skills employers need to fill specific jobs. Is it also important that the employers feel comfortable and safe in creating these jobs and expanding their workforce. If the skills aren’t quite there yet, training programs are encouraged to help both employees and employers get there.
“That’s my department’s job,” said Minister Brown. “We match people with available jobs. We find jobs for available people. And we do our best to use higher education and labour market information and data to anticipate future challenges and opportunities for the workforce here on PEI.”
The province has a clear plan to enhance the quality of life on PEI, to advance the Island’s economic growth, and to build strong community from tip to tip. The Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning has been tasked with the following priority areas:
- Population and workforce strategy
- Working with other departments to drive economic prosperity and growth, particularly in knowledge-based industries and entrepreneurship
- Higher levels of employment, in particular for youth on PEI
- Migration (repatriation of Islanders, immigration, and retention)
- Labour market projections for PEI to better align job opportunities, education, and training programs
- Develop long-term plans for higher education to increase opportunities for youth
- Contribute to the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
In addition to these priority areas, the Minister has a strong focus on employment.
“Ensuring someone finds a stable, rewarding job can immediately make an impression and an improvement in the quality of life for that individual, their family, and their household,” he said.
“That’s what I believe, and that’s the work that lies ahead for my department. We want to unlock the potential in our Island labour force from people struggling to gain financial literacy and numeracy skills, right through to post-graduate researchers and seasoned businesspeople.”
The Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning is committed to looking after PEI’s greatest resource, its people.
For more information about Workforce and Advanced Learning, visit www.gov.pe.ca/ial.
Quick facts about Workforce and Advanced Learning
- Created in May 2015
- Has approximately 80 employees
- Responsible for four divisions:
- Post Secondary and Continuing Education
- Labour Market Research
- Office of Recruitment and Settlement
- Responsible for one agency: Employment Development Agency
Meet Minister Richard Brown
On May 20, 2015, he was appointed Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning by Premier H. Wade MacLauchlan.
Minister Brown is a life-long resident of Charlottetown, who has served as a City Councilor with the City of Charlottetown. During his time as a municipal councilor, he had the opportunity to chair numerous committees.
A graduate of UPEI, he has spent most of his career in the IT sector, and has worked in various provincial government departments and in the private sector.
He resides in Charlottetown with his wife Kathy and has two children.
He was elected to the Legislature of PEI in 1997, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015.
What will help youth establish a career on PEI
Recently, youth ages 16 to 34 had their voices heard at an event called YDAY at Holland College in Charlottetown. Over 100 youth from high schools, colleges, and UPEI discussed suggestions to make PEI an attractive place to work, grow, and thrive.
This day gave youth opportunities to share ideas that policy makers and businesses can use to better address the needs of the youth labour market, and to shape future policy and programs.
- Six leading Islanders talked about their personal experiences of working, growing and thriving on PEI.
- Premier Wade MacLauchlan addressed many issues that were brought to the forefront and opened the floor to questions.
- Speakers, an artist, and the facilitator helped the youth to openly discuss their ideas by establishing a sense of hope and a feeling of being heard.
Comments from two youth: what would help them establish a career on PEI
Keyshawn Bonamy is from the Bahamas, and is studying economics at UPEI, with an interest in law. “I would love to stay in Canada and contribute to PEI if there are opportunities here,” he says. “I came here because I didn’t want to go to a bigger city. A place like PEI is perfect.”
He says a school advisor at his high school in the Bahamas talked to him about his career choices. “Corporate law came up, and I was interested enough to take steps in that direction.”
Keyshawn spoke about his need to find work on PEI after he completes his studies. “I need to become more aware of my work options on PEI and not lose sight of that as I continue with my education.”
Islam Ahmed, originally from Sudan, was born and raised in Dubai and moved to PEI in 2012. “This discussion today is beneficial for the growth, development, and retention of youth on the Island.
“One thing I have noticed is the matter of retention. This is an issue not just on PEI but in every country, as residents tend to travel and like more sophisticated metropolitan cities rather than investing in and contributing to develop their cities to become a destination.”
He has a pre-engineering diploma, has worked in the aviation industry on PEI, and now works for Rogers Telecommunication. “I have to make some decisions about whether to continue engineering studies and get my degree.”
Now that Islam has had experience working on the Island, he says there is much more to learn. “I find it hard to learn about job options on PEI, so coming to this YDAY event has given me many more options to consider. Creating your own work is very much an interest of mine, so hearing about Startup Zone makes me want to find out more about it.
“Youth need to be more aware of their career options, and we can create our destiny no matter where we are.” Islam says PEI is a very appealing place to live and create a business. “My direction seems to be more illuminated after attending YDAY. The event has given me more assurance that PEI is the right place to stay.”
About youth initiatives on PEI
The Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning is leading two ongoing Island-wide initiatives revolving around youth engagement:
- The Youth Futures Council is a province-wide youth advisory body created to help focus policy and programs in a manner that best serves the interests of young Islanders.
- YDAY will be an ongoing initiative aimed at providing the “youth lens” to the work of the Council for the upcoming year.
YDAY was a result of funding and partnership from the Government of PEI through the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning and from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, the University of PEI, Holland College, and Collège Acadie.
For more about YDAY, visit www.yday.ca
Learn more about SkillsPEI programs and view videos of success stories: http://skillspei.com/success-stories