Youth introduced to construction careers as industry booms

Team Construction participants Allan Marshall and Scott Murray joined Premier Wade MacLauchlan, Minister Sonny Gallant and Sam Sanderson of the Construction Association of PEI to announce a new youth construction job program.

Creating jobs for Islanders -

Scott Murray says he wants to be a Red Seal carpenter one day and Team Construction is helping him build his dream.

Murray is one of 80 young Islanders being introduced to careers in the booming construction industry over the next three years. The project, led by the Construction Association of PEI, is receiving more than $1 million in federal and provincial funding.

“Our population is aging so workers are retiring – and the buildings and infrastructure around us are also aging -- so construction is a great career because there will always be work,” Murray said. “Team Construction is a good opportunity to get training, to network, and to get a career in the construction industry.”

The Construction Association of PEI estimates the Prince Edward Island construction sector has an immediate need for several hundred workers and that demand will continue to increase over the next 10 years.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $890,000 in Skills Link funding to support 60 youth who will benefit from the project. Sean Casey, member of Parliament for Charlottetown, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

“Investing in Canada’s youth is a priority for our government. This is a concrete example of what we can achieve for youth by working in partnership with organizations across the country," Casey said. "These opportunities can help put regular paycheques within reach of those who need it. But more than that, young Islanders will have a chance to change their future."

“We know that our communities are healthier and stronger when everyone can fully participate. Supporting youth as they transition into the workforce is a key way in which we can grow our economy and strengthen the middle class," Minister Hajdu said. "Youth in PEI will benefit tremendously from the opportunity to develop their skills and gain valuable workplace experience. I'd like to recognize the leadership of members of Parliament Sean Casey and Bobby Morrissey in making this project a reality."

PEI invested nearly $300,000 in funding for the project for 20 additional participants. These Team Construction participants are currently taking part in construction and safety training in Summerside and Charlottetown and will begin work experiences with local businesses throughout the province starting in late August.

“As housing starts continue to trend up and commercial construction remains strong -- while construction wages are up 8.9 per cent compared to last year -- we know a career in construction is a great choice for young Islanders,” Premier Wade MacLauchlan said. “Having a vibrant construction industry will allow us to grow our economy and turn dreams into reality for Islanders now and into the future.”

Along with Team Construction, the successful Team Seafood was expanded in 2017 and Team Youth Trucking is also underway, helping young Islanders gain experience in the trucking sector.

The provincial government’s balanced 2017-18 operating budget includes over $4 million for employment initiatives for youth. Provincial investments in Team Construction are being supported through the Canada – PEI Labour Market Development Agreement.

Media contact:
Katie MacDonald
Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning

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