Employment assistance services to be modernized

It will soon be easier for Prince Edward Island employers and job seekers to connect with one another.
The province’s employment assistance services are being integrated to make service more consistent, reduce duplication, and improve assessment tools and access to training. The new model of service delivery was developed with 11 existing service providers across the province. 
“The focus of this initiative is people,” Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Richard Brown said. “We are working closely with job seekers and businesses to match the skills and training needs of individuals with the needs of Island business.”
The Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning began reviewing employment assistance services several months ago after a recommendation from the auditor-general. The review identified a need to make services for job seekers more consistent, enhance service to employers, and better publicize the employment services.
Employment assistance services were transferred to the province under the Canada-PEI Labour Market Development Agreement in 2009. Since then the workforce has aged and become more mobile and the labour market has tightened.
The new integrated centres will be located in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, and West Prince with satellite offices in Wellington and Souris.  The centres will work closely with Skills PEI, UPEI, and Holland College to ensure skills training meets the needs of Island employers.
“This change is a result of discussions held with Island business who have identified the availability of a skilled, trained workforce as their biggest challenge,” Minister Brown said. “Developing a skilled workforce is crucial to the continued growth of the Prince Edward Island economy.”
Transition to the new integrated model of service will happen over the next few months and will not disrupt client services or staffing. A Request for Proposals for the new model of service delivery will be issued within a week.

Media contact:
Kim Devine
Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning

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