CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – A recent survey of members of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce found that 71 per cent of respondents see immigration as an opportunity to address P.E.I.’s workforce challenges.

“Growth in our economy and changing demographics are placing additional pressure on P.E.I.’s labour market,” said Chamber President, Jennifer Evans. “We hear from members across many sectors that work is available, however in many cases, employers can’t find people to fill positions.  We were pleased to see this support from members for further recruitment and retention of newcomers to help address labour gaps. ”

While 71 per cent of members surveyed say immigration can help address the labour shortage, only 27 per cent felt they have access to adequate government programs to hire newcomers.

“It’s important for employers to know there are programs available to help them with their labour shortages and to understand how these programs can be used to grow their business, and ultimately, the local economy,” said Chamber CEO, Penny Walsh-McGuire.

Survey results indicate that 66 per cent of respondents agree it’s a challenge to find the appropriate skilled labour to fill job vacancies.

“P.E.I.’s workforce challenges are complex and require a variety of measures such as skills training, supporting wage growth with a competitive tax environment, and ensuring that Islanders and newcomers are aware of the career opportunities that exist in our province,” said Walsh-McGuire.

The 2018 survey was part of a research process to identify key issues for Chamber members. The survey was administered by MQO Research, a leading Atlantic Canadian market insights company. The Chamber will continue to share survey results in the coming months.