An announcement by Atlantic Canada's premiers that they will be working together on training the region's workforce is timely, says the president of P.E.I.'s Holland College.

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The Atlantic provinces must work together to train the region's workforce, says Holland College president Brian McMillan. (Holland College)

"We're currently faced with a large number of megaprojects across Atlantic Canada that are going to require a large number of skilled workers," said Brian McMillan, president of Holland College.

One of those megaprojects is the contract to build warships in Halifax. And it's  just one of 354 projects worth $71 billion coming to Atlantic Canada in the next few years. McMillan and the Atlantic Provinces Community Colleges Consortium  are exploring ways how to train the workforce to get those projects done.

"To have each of the colleges and universities working together to address that labour force demand I think is a very positive thing," said McMillan. 

The premiers' announcement following their annual meeting Wednesday made it clear they understand the problem and are prepared to address it, he said.

The Atlantic Provinces Community Colleges Consortium has received ACOA funding to determine what the workforce needs would be within the next five to seven years. Having the provinces work together, said McMillan, will make the training more efficient and effective.

"We're just too small as individual provinces to address this," he said.

The consortium will be looking for more details from the Atlantic premiers in the coming days, and is pleased that they are on board with the project.