Student job fair lands workers for Island fish plants

Ryan Ross
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Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley, left, shakes hands with P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association executive director Dennis King, centre, and P.E.I., Fishermen’s Association executive director Ian MacPherson at a news conference in Charlottetown Friday.

Island fish plants could be getting a little relief for their labour shortage after a job fair in Souris got them a few applications, says a spokesman for the P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association.

Dennis King, the association’s executive director, said about 20 to 25 students applied for work in fish plants through the job fair held in Souris last week.

“We didn’t really have any grand expectations,” he said Friday.

Some Island lobster fishermen have recently faced quotas because of a labour shortage that has meant processors don’t have enough workers to handle the amount of lobster coming in.

Last week, King told The Guardian the industry was short about 400 workers.

To help fill that need the processers used to bring in temporary foreign workers but that has been harder this year because of restrictions the federal government placed on the program.

King said most of the applications from the job fair were for the plant in North Lake.

“That facility up there is in drastic need of employees.”

The North Lake plant has about 130 employees and has been operating at about 55 per cent capacity, King said.

“Any little bit is a help.”

Organizations: P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association

Geographic location: Iceland, Souris, North Lake

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Recent comments

  • No Need For Job Fair
    June 08, 2014 - 15:45

    My buddies and I worked the night shift at a fish plant our whole way through high school! One summer I worked day shift at the shipyard and night shift at the fish plant . Good times back then ! I was the fork lift driver when I was 16 . Go for it people , but don't neglect your studies !!!

  • w kennedy
    June 08, 2014 - 01:24

    Could they have cabins for the provincial workers? If some middleman or maybe Santa Claus or some other miracle drops of TFWs for free and then sets them up 20 to a room after keeping IDs and demanding a cut just how does that work. For a temp. job it still pays min. wage only. It seems the companies expect people who can not afford cars to just show up on their own steam?

  • Craig
    June 07, 2014 - 17:40

    Anyone that is on ei or welfare within 50 km of a place looking for workers should be cut off! 14%unemployment on pei and no workers just a complete shame ! I for one am tired of working and part of my check going to ei dues for people to sit home and do nothing just because they don't need anymore weeks to file! Show some leadership government and make lazy people work

    • SlyFox
      June 08, 2014 - 09:03

      50 KM radius or 30 miles you say. What if said person had no vehicle? If they walked at 3 miles per hour they could make it there in 10 hours then work 10 or 12 then walk home again another 10 hours. Now that would make for a long day indeed.

    • Dick
      June 08, 2014 - 10:04

      You had me at EI!

  • SlyFox
    June 07, 2014 - 16:38

    Now one would think that Mr.King would know the true number of people who applied for a job and not a rough guess or maybe this just shows his true interest in the new applicants. Also why is the plant is running at 55% now? Were they expecting TFW to fill the remaining 45% and were not allowed them? This article is not very informative and leave one having more questions than answers.

  • Total Disgrace
    June 07, 2014 - 15:26

    This is a totally disgusting disgrace for PEI . The number of able body people on welfare and EI sitting home and the processors having to go to the schools for students to work . We should be proud of ourselves . What SHAME-SHAME-SHAME excuse for people we are .