CBU Program to Help Address Labour Market Shortages in Rural Cape Breton

A new program at Cape Breton University (CBU) will put students to work and help businesses across Cape Breton Island address labour market shortages experienced in the summer and fall.

With support from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), CBU will assist its growing student population, and international students in particular, who are seeking part-time and seasonal employment, by matching them with employment opportunities in Victoria, Inverness and Richmond Counties. To overcome transportation and accommodation barriers, CBU will operate a daily shuttle service for student workers from July to October. This innovative program provides employers with access to a much-needed labour force without having to find them accommodations.

“During our strategic planning process, we consistently heard from employers in all counties in Cape Breton about the need for seasonal employees and challenges associated with limited short-term accommodations in rural areas. This program has the potential to strengthen the tourism sector in Cape Breton and provide our students with an enhanced educational experience– two key areas of focus within our strategic plan,” says David C. Dingwall, President & Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University.

Starting this month, four CBU vans will transport students to and from specified employment destinations across Cape Breton, daily. The program is expected to run between July and October and is funded jointly by ACOA and CBU, over the next two years. ACOA is providing a $350,000 non-repayable contribution through its Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) toward the project and the University is providing $306,314.

“Retaining international students is one of the priorities of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, and Cape Breton University’s growing international student base has significant potential to be a source of immigration for the Island. Not only does CBU’s student body represent a local labour supply for tourism operators, but it also provides students with opportunities to immerse themselves in Cape Breton culture, through work and recreational opportunities,” says Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso. “That is why the Government of Canada is supporting CBU’s efforts to connect labour with business, and build prosperity locally, and across Atlantic Canada.”

CBU is currently working to connect students with employment opportunities. Employers can find out more about the program by contacting Kent MacIntyre, Program Manager by phone at 902-563-1198 or by email at kent_macintyre@cbu.ca.