Tourism

PEI businesses are struggling to find employees for the tourist and construction seasons.

This is a difficult time for a business owner looking for employees, and this is especially true for those gearing up for peak tourism and construction season on Prince Edward Island.

The island is experiencing a labor shortage.

Robert Godfrey, general manager of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, said this is the time of year when travel companies are making bulk hires, but many owners show up empty-handed.

“They’re on the front lines themselves, they’re doing everything they can to keep their business going,” Godfrey said. “In the lead up to what will be a great season, indeed, in terms of numbers, in particular in the tourism sector.”

He said the owners are offering perks to try and convince employees to choose them.

“Some people pay more, some people work flexible hours,” Godfrey said. “They’re looking at retention, they’re looking at how they can attract employees.”

The shortage of workers is not new. This was before the pandemic, but it got worse.

The construction industry on the island is thriving, but it is stifled by a shortage of workers.

“Because we’ve seen such a boom in the industry over the past two years,” Alicia Packwood of the Canadian Home Builders Association PEI told Jobs, they’re trying to fill the increasing vacancies.

She said that the owners take projects two and three years in advance. The same amount of work is being done, but customers are waiting much longer.

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