Province announces supports for post-secondary students
Today, the Province of Prince Edward Island announced enhanced employment and economic opportunities for Island students impacted by COVID-19.
In total, the Province will support the creation of 1,000 new job placements for Island high school and post-secondary students through increases to current employment programs and partnerships with community and industry as long as the jobs can follow the health and safety recommendations of the Chief Public Health Office.
“We know that Island post-secondary students have been negatively impacted as a result of this pandemic and the province is here to help. Whether they anticipated working over the summer to help pay the cost of their tuition and expenses or they were ready to embark on their first career after graduating, we have put supports in place to help. Every Islander is dealing with the unique challenges of COVID-19 and we need to be there to support those individual needs so that we can all get through this together.”
- Premier Dennis King
The Province of Prince Edward Island has been working with the federal government and students’ unions to understand the economic challenges Island students are facing and fill potential gaps in funding currently available so that the immediate and long-term needs of students are met.
Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox announced an expansion of the Team Seafood program to encourage more Island youth to participate in the fishing and aquaculture industries. Through Team Seafood, the province provides a bursary, on top of employee wages, to high school or post-secondary students. The province will support 250 new placements through this program.
Minister Fox also announced enhancements through the Jobs for Youth Program to community, environment, and non-government organizations to create 280 student employment opportunities.
To help Island business retain their current employees, Minister Fox announced an increase to private sector wage subsidies through the Employment Development Agency. The subsidy will increase from 50 per cent of wages to 75 per cent of wages.
“As our province deals with the consequences of COVID-19, the provincial government is committed to helping Islanders, including our secondary and post-secondary students, find employment and help businesses and organizations hire the personnel they need to continue operating safely,” said Minster Fox. “The sooner people can return to work, the better off all Islanders will be.”
Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay announced an expansion of the Post-Secondary Employment Program through Skills PEI. The program supports 100 per cent of student wages for government and non-government organizations and will now support 75 per cent wage funding for the private sector, up from 50 per cent. The Post-Secondary Employment Program will create up to 320 new positions.
“We are proud of our ambitious Island youth and want to be there to support their educational and career pursuits but recognize that the pandemic has altered their plans,” said Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay. “Working with industry, and with our students, we want to ensure that job opportunities are available and that no Islander is left behind.”
To increase the COVID-related supports provided by the province’s post-secondary institutions to students in immediate need, Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning Brad Trivers announced a total of $95,000 to support the UPEI Student Union, Holland College and Collège de l'Île.
In addition, Minister Trivers announced a partnership with the University of Prince Edward Island to develop a $75,000 research fund for students wishing to pursue opportunities in their respective fields of interest.
“Our post-secondary students are at a very critical point in their lives as they pursue education and training opportunities to help create a brighter future for themselves and our province,” said Minister Trivers. “It’s very important that students can continue to learn and that as a community, we do everything possible to ensure that the pandemic does not disrupt their educational pursuits.”
Supports for post-secondary students:
- Provincial student loan payments deferred to September
- Jobs for Youth application deadline has been extended for employers
- The Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit provides $1,000 over three months to help cover the cost of rent for Islanders who have been financially impacted by COVID-19
- A $750 grant to students eligible to draw Employment Insurance while they are studying.
- Farm Team, a bursary program for high school and post-secondary students, was enhanced last week. The province is currently looking at how to expand the Team Construction program.
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Office of the Premier