Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

August 02, 2007 11:30 ET

Canada and Prince Edward Island to Assist Local Unemployed Older Workers

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - Aug. 2, 2007) - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Federal Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Richard Brown, PEI Minister of Development and Technology today announced the signing of a Canada-Prince Edward Island agreement under the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW).

"Canada's New Government understands that older workers are particularly vulnerable when a sector or industry suffers economic loss, which is why I am pleased today to announce this program investment with the Province of PEI to help older workers find employment," said Minister Solberg. "We anticipate that this community-based program will help at least 180 workers in Prince Edward Island to upgrade their skills, benefit from job counseling, and gain work experience."

Minister Solberg noted that the initiative will work most effectively when combined with community economic development initiatives, whether provincial, territorial or federal.

Minister Brown said that he is pleased with the agreement and is confident that it will benefit both older Island workers and employers in Prince Edward Island looking for experienced employees.

"Older workers who want to re-enter the work force are a tremendous untapped resource for our province," Minister Brown said. "With employers across Prince Edward Island looking to hire new people to meet increasing demand, I believe that our province will benefit greatly from this agreement and the training and support it will provide."

Under the cost-shared agreement, the Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island will provide $746,378 and $142,167 respectively (for a total of $888,545) to support community based projects designed to ensure that help is provided to unemployed older workers in communities and sectors hard hit with unemployment. Over the duration of the program, a minimum of 180 workers in Prince Edward Island are expected to benefit from the initiative that will include activities such as: skills assessment and upgrading, counseling and work experience.

The TIOW, which represents a $70 million federal commitment, provides programming until March 31, 2009. Under the program, provinces and territories that choose to participate have responsibility for identifying vulnerable communities and project design and delivery. Participating provinces and territories will work with organizations in affected communities to develop projects.

The TIOW is part of the new Government's two-part strategy for assisting older workers. In addition to the TIOW, an expert panel on older workers has been appointed to undertake a feasibility study to evaluate current and potential measures to address the challenges faced by unemployed older workers, including the need for improved training and enhanced income support, such as early retirement benefits. The TIOW offers programming to meet the immediate needs of unemployed older workers pending the outcome of the feasibility study.

Contact Information

  • Office of Monte Solberg
    Lesley Harmer
    Director of Communications
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Department of Development and Technology
    Ron Crozier
    Communications Manager