Seniors matched with jobs by federal program

A new on-line job listing for people who are 50 or older was launched in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia last week.

A new on-line job listing for people who are 50 or older was launched in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia last week.

ThirdQuarter is a partnership between the federal government and chambers of commerce across the country to match retirees with jobs. Twelve communities across the country are currently trying out the program, half of them in Manitoba. Summerside and Amherst are the first communities to offer the service in Atlantic Canada.

Mary Olscamp is one of 30 people who've already signed up in Summerside. Since retiring nine years ago she's been doing short contracts to stay connected to the community, but she said it can be tough finding those jobs just by word-of-mouth.

"Third Quarter is offering a wonderful opportunity for retired people to actually see what's in the community," said Olscamp.

ThirdQuarter acts as a matching service, taking both job listings from employers and profiles from potential employees. Anyone 50 or older who is retired or out of work can post a confidential profile with their skills at no charge. If it matches a job that a business has posted the person will get a message.

The service specializes in part-time and volunteer work. Summerside co-ordinator Don Anderson thinks this is particularly helpful for businesses in rural communities.

"In our small towns I think people are retiring earlier, and we have an exodus of our young people from communities," said Anderson.

"I think businesses are experiencing a skills shortage."

Six businesses have signed up and three have posted jobs.

Donna's Transport in Summerside was looking for a standby driver to carry seniors and people with disabilities on runs between 6:30 to 9:30 in the morning. Owner Rodney Savidant has already had a response.

"It's difficult to get people who want to go out that early in the morning," he said.

ThirdQuarter was launched in the spring, and if it is successful will continue adding communities to the online listings.