The Community Development Department (CDD) hosted a round table discussion last week at Huff Estates with local agencies including Career Edge, PEC Chamber and Quinte Immigration Services who met with staff from the Newcomer Centre of Peel (NCP) NCP administer a program called the Rural Employment Initiative. This initiative represents over 300 skilled labour newcomer clients who are seeking employment outside of the GTA, with interest in relocating to rural Ontario. Many of these candidates include skills such as skilled trades, healthcare services, HR and business management, which align with a recent study & feedback received from employers in The County.
In 2017, the CDD engaged in a Business Retention & Expansion study (see link to study) in the Professional and Healthcare Services industry in Prince Edward County to better understand the emerging business needs in the community with the hope of supporting expansion opportunities for those County businesses.
One emerging trend was the lack of qualified candidates locally to support business expansion plans. For instance, confidence is high with over 50% of the businesses in the Professional Services sector intending to expand and 80% recognize that their industry is growing. Of those expanding, 80% will require additional workforce, however 78% expressed difficulty in hiring new employees, compared with 49% provincially.
This initiative aligns closely with existing resident attraction initiatives that promote the area as an attractive lifestyle destination for those seeking to ‘get out of the city’.
Local Employment Services
Career Edge in Picton has been experiencing a shift in recent years from an over supply of job seekers to an under supply of job seekers. In contrast, there is now an over supply of available jobs from employers. Because of this, it’s recognized that thinking outside the box in order to train locals(ie. through our County Workforce Partnership) and attract from outside our community is both needed fill these positions and meet employer demands.
Work will continue with REI partnership to build awareness newcomers in the GTA about Prince Edward County as an attractive place to live and work.