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March 21, 2016
For immediate release

Essential Skills Training to enhance the shellfish industry

Workforce and Advanced Learning

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Harvesters and plant workers had the opportunity to enhance their job related skills in quality control processes within the shellfish sector, says Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning.

“Through SkillsPEI, we’re focused on working closely with industry to give Island workers the chance to develop the necessary skills to maintain employment here on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Brown.

The PEI Shellfish Association recently coordinated the delivery of an essential skills training program for 20 participants in western Prince Edward Island. The oyster and clam fisheries make an economic contribution of approximately $25 million to the PEI economy each year.

“More than 1,000 jobs are sustained within the oyster and clam fisheries and ensuring employees are well trained in the safe production of seafood products will provide a high level of assurance to our international consumers, and support the continued growth of this industry,” said Minister Alan McIsaac, Agriculture and Fisheries.

This training initiative, funded by Workforce and Advanced Learning through the Canada-PEI Job Grant and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, was identified by the PEI Shellfish Association as an important step to help industry participants understand and meet the strict regulations that ensure PEI shellfish products are safe.

“Providing training opportunities to individuals within our industry ensures that the most up-to-date information is being shared, and employees are kept abreast on what they need to know, in turn, increasing their confidence and commitment to the workplace,” said Brenda Campbell, President, PEI Shellfish Association.

The four-week training program focused on quality management practices and food safety. Participants were able to increase their knowledge of handling and processing procedures, and improve their understanding of documentation and reporting requirements.

“It’s terrific that PEI and Canada can work together to help individuals get the education and training they need to develop new skills that will enable them to excel in their jobs within the seafood processing industry,” said the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. “We will continue to work with the PEI Government and others to help all Canadians get the skills they need for good quality jobs.”

Media Contact: Sheila Kerry
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