The city’s economic development department is on the right track with its initiative to match workers with potential employers.
It created an online tool called Skills Matcher Tool that is a free Internet program for both recruiters and candidates. The basic idea is candidates can put their resume online and companies can review them.
Economic development officer Nancy Quinn said the program is very discreet “so people in the community who may not want it known that they might be looking for an alternate opportunity can put their resume in. Their name is not shown except to the company who is searching for them. Recruiters can go and review the resumes.”
What is extremely attractive about Skills Matcher is that it is not limited to Summerside and area or even Prince Edward Island or the Maritimes. It’s available to anyone who wants to access it.
Skills Matcher can be a valuable tool in kickstarting the local economy. It eliminates a lot of wasted time for employers and candidates because it gives a true picture of the available labour force. It can also be an education tool for potential employers by revealing to them the skill level in the workforce just waiting to be tapped.
There are employers out there looking for workers and Skills Matcher is a key first step in filling their needs.
What the program also does is put Summerside on the job-creating marketing front. Businesses contemplating a move to the city or the surrounding area can see first hand the available skill levels that could prompt their move here. It has the means to bring new people to the area.
Job creation is the key to economic development and a healthy economy. Skills Matcher has the potential not only to fill existing job openings but also create new ones.
Quinn said many want to come to the Maritimes and to P.E.I. and many who have left, want to return but are uneasy because of the availability of work.
Skills Matcher gives these people the opportunity to let employers know they want to come here and they are available for work.
It’s unfortunate that Skills Matcher didn’t have the support initially to really get a foothold in the business community when it was launched a year ago.
But now, it has been embraced by employers and is beginning to make strides.
City council should take a long hard look at Skills Matcher, realize its potential and give it some major support as an economic development tool.
For anyone interested, the Skills Matcher Tool can be found at http://summerside.skillsmatcher.ca.