In 2019, The Tourism Industry Association of PEI (TIAPEI) Passport to Employment program is expanding to include a two-week job placement.
TIAPEI is also looking to extend the program to eastern and western areas of PEI that show an interest. To be eligible for the program, participants must be age 55 or older, and legally authorized to work in Canada.
“There is a group of mature workers who are not ready to retire, and they want to be more productive, and meet more people,” says Kim Smith, Industry HR Manager with TIAPEI. “There is also a group of people who have worked 30 or 40 years in the same profession and want a change.
“Employers tend to see these workers as responsible employees who show up to work on time and have a good work ethic.
“We know the demographic and the need is there; we just have to make sure more people know about the Passport to Employment program.”
“We want to help participants prepare for the workplace,” says Kim. “The TIAPEI Passport to Employment helps to update resumés and prepare for job interviews. As well, our HR Advisor, Brysan Cumming, introduces the participants to careers in the tourism industry on PEI.”
Training involves four weeks of classroom time to enhance job search skills and computer skills. Participants also receive personal awareness training, which will expand opportunities for full or part-time work. Once the classroom portion is completed, participants take part in a two-week work placement.
Employment opportunities in tourism
Kim says tourism offers more than hotel and restaurant jobs. “Tourism careers extend to retail opportunities, and entertainment is also a huge part of tourism, from the amusement parks in Cavendish to the shows at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.”
“PEI’s cruise ship schedule has expanded greatly. We had two days in the 2018 season where four ships were booked for Charlottetown. There is a high demand for guides to provide cruise ship tourists with tours around the Island.
“The cruise ship schedule does not provide full-time work, but it may be desirable some for mature workers happening across PEI who are looking to work a few days a week.”
A strong workforce
In 2016, 19.4 percent of PEI’s population was over 65, which is higher than the national average of 16 percent. That number is predicted to rise to 25 percent by 2025 on the Island.
Promoting Wellness, Preserving Health is the Government of PEI’s first-ever action plan for seniors, near seniors, and their caregivers. Priorities include health and wellness, age-friendly communities, volunteerism, life-long learning and employment, and more.
Some action plan recommendations – seniors and employment
- Develop a program that educates employers about the advantages of hiring and retaining mature workers.
- Provide additional training for SkillsPEI employees and employment assistance providers to help those aged 55 and older find employment opportunities.
- Explore expanding Passport to Employment to include individuals over 65.
- Promote volunteer opportunities for Island seniors.
- Research employment barriers for mature workers and explore ways to address those barriers.
- Partner with the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning to explore inclusive workforce options for seniors.
- Explore opportunities to develop lifelong learning initiatives that enhance and share the knowledge and experience of seniors.
For more information about Passport to Employment and TIAPEI, call 902-566-5008. Visit www.tiapei.pe.ca.
To view the report Promoting Wellness, Preserving Health Seniors Action Plan, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca and search Seniors Action Plan.
Funding is provided through the Canada-PEI labour market agreements.