PEI

P.E.I. bringing employment services together, focusing more on employers

The P.E.I. government has announced major changes to the way it provides employment services through non-governmental groups.

Province will reduce the number of outside agencies under contract

P.E.I. employers say the availability of a trained workforce is their biggest challenge. (David Ryder/Bloomberg)

The P.E.I. government has announced major changes to the way it provides employment services through non-governmental groups.

Currently the province contracts 11 different agencies to provide employment services. It will retain six of those, which provide specialized services. The province is issuing a tender for taking over the business of the other five, which deal with 85 per cent of clients.

The amalgamation will not reduce the number of staff involved. It will in fact add one position, with the total increasing from 45 to 46. There will be fewer administration staff, and six staff will be moved to an employer-focused role.

Amalgamation plans
Group services being amalgamated Groups continuing to offer services
P.E.I. Career Development Services Tremploy
P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities Inclusions East
Rural Community Learning Inc. Community Connections
East Prince Youth Development Centre Community Inclusions
John Howard Society P.E.I. Association for Newcomers
Canadian Mental Health Association

Better worker-employer matches

The main goal of the changes is to develop a workforce where employers' needs are better matched with workers' skills. Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Richard Brown said employers have identified the availability of a trained workforce as their biggest challenge.

"We are working closely with job seekers and businesses to match the skills and training needs of individuals with the needs of Island business," said Brown.

The new amalgamated agency will work closely with Skills PEI, UPEI, and Holland College to ensure skills training meets the needs of Island employers.

Tenders sought

The province will issue an RFP in January for organizations interested in taking on the amalgamated employment services role.

The tender will be for two years, with an option to extend for a further two years.

The government expects the transition to the new model will be complete by July.

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