Kathy Livingstone, with the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., speaks to a group of prospective students for the Passport to Employment program. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
KENSINGTON – Anne Richard was retired for all of six months before she started going stir-crazy.
The Summerside resident was a teacher for 32 years at various local schools before retiring in June.
She ended up having far too much time on her hands for her liking and is now looking for new experiences in the workforce.
“I have to do something, I have to get back out there and be with people again,” she laughed.
“You can only do so much housework.”
One of the first places Richard has turned to explore her options is the Passport to Employment Program.
The federally funded but provincially managed program offers courses designed to get people aged 55-64 back into the workforce.
It usually has several classes a year in various communities across the Island.
The next class will be held in Kensington and starts Feb. 4 and runs until March 21.
This particular class will be held in partnership with the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) and will be focused on finding employment in the tourism industry.
Both groups held a public information session in Kensington earlier this week.
It’s an industry that is expecting a busy year, said Kathy Livingstone, with TIAPEI.
“2014 is definitely a big year … which in turn will require a lot of people working in the industry. Early indications are that we hope to see a big increase in the number of visitors,” she said.
Mature workers like Richard are exactly the type of people a lot of employers are looking for to fill the types of jobs that are open in the tourism industry, added Michael Gaudet, with Passport to Employment.
They’re reliable, motivated, resourceful and perhaps most importantly of all, flexible in terms of hours, said Gaudet.
Passport to Employment provides them with the skills they need to put those abilities to work, he said.
“It’s two sided. What is it they want to do? And how do they match their skills to be able to apply (for a job)?”
Anyone interested in attending a Passport to Employment session can do so by contacting them through their website at www.matureworkers.caor by calling Yvonne Doyle at 620-3857 or Gaudet at 620-3436.