04/05/2016 02:40 EDT | Updated 04/06/2017 05:12 EDT

P.E.I. Throne Speech 2016: Liberals Set Population Target Of 150K By End Of 2017

Repatriate, recruit and retain.

CHARLOTTETOWN — The government of Prince Edward Island says it wants to increase the population of Canada's smallest province to 150,000 by as early as the end of 2017.

The overall target that would see the province's population increase by more than 3,500 people was set out today in the government's throne speech read by Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis.

Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan speaks at a press conference in Charlottetown on Thursday, March 31, 2016. (Photo: John Morris/CP)

Faced with too many young people leaving the province in search of work, the government says it will put in place a long-term strategy to repatriate, recruit and retain a skilled workforce over the next year.

The government says it plans new marketing initiatives to entice Islanders to return home and it will launch a new website to match job seekers with local employers.

A pilot project will also look to connect more than 900 post-secondary international students with Island employers.

To help prepare students for technological change in the workplace the government says it will introduce a new pilot project that provides instruction on coding in Island schools.

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