Governments investing more than $750,000 for projects to address labour need for new agri-food professionals in farming sector
October 2, 2020 – Woodstock, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The governments of Canada and Ontario today announced they are investing in several projects that will support labour and training needs in the farming sector, including committing more than $180,000 for the development of a new college program that will provide education and training in the latest agricultural equipment.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments will assist Conestoga College in the creation, launch and delivery of a pilot program to expand the training opportunities for current farm sector employees and better prepare those interested in careers in agriculture to work on farms in key areas.
Students will learn skilled trades in high demand areas such as spraying and fertilizing operations, custom tillage and harvesting operations. The project is one of several recently approved by the governments to help primary agriculture, food processing companies and food retailers to recruit and train workers who are critical in keeping the province’s essential food supply functioning.
Through a targeted intake under the Partnership’s Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative, the governments have also recently committed up to $594,000 to projects to boost labour supply and training in the agri-food sector. In addition to the Conestoga College program, the governments have approved:
- $396,000 for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture to develop a comprehensive support system for businesses in the agriculture and food sector to target communities affected by workforce shortages in the agri-food sector due to COVID-19, including a job matching and labour recruiting service;
- $198,000 for Food and Beverage Ontario to develop and complete a six-month marketing campaign to build confidence with frontline food workers, support business continuity for Ontario’s food and beverage processing sector, and support the operational stability of Ontario’s food and beverage processing sector during COVID-19 challenges.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed support to more than 3,900 projects, through the Partnership, to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.