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Private sector job vacancies in Canada hit 3.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, a new high topping 2018’s record. That’s an estimated 435,000 vacancies, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

That number will only climb as the country ages. By 2036, only 54 per cent of Atlantic Canadians will be in the workforce, according to Statistics Canada estimates.

“The supply of middle-aged mainstream workers just isn’t there,” says Richard Gallant, executive director of education and lifelong learning at Skills PEI, a federal-provincial partnership that delivers skills training. “We need to look at under-represented groups to see how we can support more participation in the workforce.”

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