April 27, 2023
Feds provide 12 million for CAHRC project

The Canadian government announced it is providing the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) just over $12 million for their Growing the Agriculture Workforce of the Future: Cultivating Canada’s Post-Pandemic Recovery Project. The funding is part of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion’s (ESDC) Sectoral Workplace Solutions Program (SWSP) that helps key sectors of the economy implement solutions to address workforce needs.

In a media release, the Trudeau government says by identifying skills most in need, providing innovative and targeted training programs to 1,175 employers and employees and by setting sector-wide standards for recruiting and retention, this project strives to meet the current and future demands of the agriculture industry. The 17-month initiative includes:

•Forecasting labour market shortages and skills needs,
•Developing an inventory of current and future skills needs,
•Developing training programs for job seekers and new employees,
•Expanding CAHRC’s HR Management program and developing a recognition program for employers.

Forty per cent of employers surveyed in primary agriculture in CAHRC’s 2021 Understanding the Effects of COVID-19 on Canada’s Agriculture Workforce research reported not being able to fill vacancies and the industry suffered earning losses of $2.9 billion in total sales, directly attributable to unfilled vacancies tied to the pandemic. This is nearly double the $1.5 billion in lost sales recorded in 2014.

“The Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry is an economic driver for Canada while at the same time feeding Canadians and the globe,” said Paul Glenn, CAHRC Chair. “Industry has come together through the National Workforce Strategic Plan to identify actions to address the chronic labour shortage and ensure the industry has the workforce to remain a global leader in the supply of sustainable, quality agriculture and food products. The funding provided by ESDC through the Sectoral Workplace Solutions Program (SWSP) will allow for the swift implementation of many of these actions identified by industry in the Plan.”