Team Seafood expands student jobs
An expanded Team Seafood initiative will create more jobs for students in Prince Edward Island’s seafood processing sector this summer.
Federal funding of $125,250 has been approved to support up to 250 student bursaries for the 2017 season, with an equal amount cost-shared by the province and the seafood processing companies. Team Seafood was launched in 2016 as a partnership between the seafood processing sector and the federal and provincial governments to expand the workforce in rural communities during the peak processing season.
“The Skills Links Program, under the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, helps youth develop job skills and gain the work experience they need to get jobs now and prepare for the workforce of tomorrow,” Egmont MP Robert Morrissey said. “The project announced today will assist youth gain the experience needed to find a job or return to school.”
Last year, more than 100 students were hired to work at 10 seafood processing plants. In addition to hourly wages, students who met the program requirements earned bursaries up to $1,000 towards their post-secondary studies.
In addition to the support for bursaries, the PEI Seafood Processors Association will receive $33,750 under the Labour Market Development Agreement and $11,250 from the Atlantic Shrimp Corporation to promote Team Seafood and support student recruitment.
“Our government is pleased to support the Seafood Processors Association for its innovative approach to recruit workers to continue producing the world’s best seafood,” Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Sonny Gallant said. “This investment will help build our reputation as Canada’s Food Island and increase economic prosperity in rural communities while providing well-paying summer jobs for students.”
The seafood processing sector is a major contributor to Prince Edward Island’s economy, earning more than $260 million in export revenues and employing more 2,500 people.
“Processing plants like the ones in West Prince play a key economic role in so many of our rural communities,” Minister of Rural and Regional Development Pat Murphy said. “It is essential that they have the workers to process our premium seafood products.”
Team Seafood has been highlighted as a best practice in Atlantic Canada for its innovative approach to engaging youth in the local workforce.
“Students help keep our plant fully operational and Team Seafood is a great incentive to attract workers,” said Francis Morrissey, general manager of Royal Star Foods. “Many of them come from fishing families, so it helps students to support the community while earning good money for school.”
Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning