$1.2M in funding aimed at introducing Island youth to construction careers
Construction Association of P.E.I. estimates the construction sector needs several hundred workers
A project titled Team Construction is receiving $1.2 million in funding from the federal government and the province to introduce 80 Island youth to the construction industry on P.E.I.
The federal government is investing more than $890,000 in funding to support 60 youth and P.E.I. is contributing nearly $300,000 for 20 additional participants, according to a government news release.
Sam Sanderson, general manager of the Construction Association of P.E.I., said the project is "a huge opportunity for the participants.
"It's a great way to get interest into the trades"
'Huge undertaking' for Island youth
The age range for participants involved in the project is between 16 and 30, Sanderson said.
The funding offers participants "eight weeks classroom training to get them ready — after that they go out into the workforce for up to 14 weeks to gain job experience."
"It's a huge undertaking for the youth," Sanderson said.
He added that the project is one part of what they hope to be a recruit-and-retain project: to get young Islanders interested, first, then encourage them to attain their red seal and finally live and work in the province.
Step one is already underway.
Team Construction participants are currently taking part in construction and safety training in Summerside and Charlottetown and are expected to start in working in late August.
'Good opportunity' for youth
"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," said Scott Murray, one of the 80 participants in the project.
"Team Construction is a good opportunity to get training, to network, and to get a career in the construction industry."
In June, the province announced support for the Construction Association of Prince Edward Island to develop a worker recruitment plan, which is separate from the Team Construction funding.
The Construction Association of P.E.I. estimates the province's construction sector has an immediate need for several hundred workers and that demand will continue to increase over the next 10 years.
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With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan