We will be looking for participants in January 2020. 

New fisheries project offers training, work placement and employment (The Employment Journey on PEI)

New literacy program provides training, paid work in aquaculture industry (CBC)

The following was taken from the article by The Employment Journey on PEI 

Maureen Boudreau, Manager of Atlantic Aqua Farms in Georgetown, took the training program as well. “I found it really interesting, and it’s nice to see the others coming out of their shells and taking part. It was great to learn about different skill sets, such as how to deal with conflict in the workplace and other skills we haven’t had training in before.”

Lily Reaman, Coordinator of the project says, “the goal is to help people return to the workforce or develop skills within their workplace.”

Atlantic Aqua Farms (AAF) is the first employer on PEI to take part in a new pilot project called Essential Skills for Atlantic Fisheries (ESAF). 

The six weeks of training started in August and was packed full of information around workplace essential skills, employability skills, and computer skills training.

Training was customized for managers, supervisors, and new recruits.

“We were so thrilled to work with Atlantic Aqua Farms,” says Lily Reaman of PEI Literacy Alliance, Coordinator of the project. “We learned a lot about the high quality of knowledge and professionalism in PEI aquaculture, the nature of hiring in this industry, and what further training and supports may be of interest to staff and new recruits.”

Another cohort will be scheduled for early 2020. “Employers are welcome to contact us. The next area of the fisheries industry we will focus on depends on the interests that employers bring to us. The company we work with next could be involved in harvesting, processing, or aquaculture.”


Here is what the project has to offer:


  • Assistance in recruiting new employees
  • Free training for new employees
  • Free mentor training for supervisors and managers
  • Increased productivity and reduced errors
  • Partial wage subsidies for work placement terms.


  • Upgraded skills and capabilities for the workplace
  • On-the-job training
  • An opportunity for a paid work placement and full-time employment
  • A new Chromebook computer to keep upon completion of the training. 

About Atlantic Aqua Farms Ltd. (AAF) – AAF is the largest grower and processor of high quality PEI blue mussels under the brand names Canadian Cove and JP’s Shellfish. They also offer a wide selection of branded oysters, clams, and live Maine and Canadian lobster.

“We employ over 200 staff across PEI,” says Dana Drummond, Vice President ofFarm Operations at AAF. They have facilities in Georgetown, Orwell Cove, and Borden Carlton.  “All of the farming operation sites employ 20 to 30 people full time year-round and another 100 staff are seasonal, which is approximately eight months of the year. 

“We are actively looking to grow our team and further build our business through qualified people who understand the aquaculture business and how to deliver the highest quality product for our customers.”  Dana says although it is too early to report on the long-term results and impact of the EASF project, they are encouraged with the interest shown and cooperation to date.

“Recent conversations with folks on the project show that progress is being made in areas such as financial literacy, computer competency, and better communication skills. With a good attitude towards learning new skills, I expect everyone involved will benefit. We committed to hiring the new recruits as soon as the project was completed.”


Mentorship training

Part of the support for the company was one week of mentorship training, delivered at Workplace Learning PEI in Charlottetown.

“Supervisors and managers came from the AAF harvesting and plant operations across the Island,” says Jeremy MacEachern, Facilitator.

Mentorship training covered the following topics:

  • Essential skills for the fishing industry
  • Communication, teamwork, and leadership skill
  • Learning styles and how they relate to the workplace
  • Problem solving strategies for the workplace 

Jeremy recommends that companies take the time to invest in training for their staff because people are their greatest asset.

To apply to be a participant or a potential employer, or to find out more about the project, contact Jinny at the PEI Literacy Alliance at 902-368-3620.

The Essential Skills for Atlantic Fisheries (ESAF) project, funded by the Government of Canada’s National Essential Skills Initiatives program, is led by the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick in partnership with the PEI Literacy Alliance, Literacy Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council. 

Thank you to our employer partner: