OTTAWA — It is estimated there will be an agri-food workforce shortfall of 123,000 by 2029 in Canada, with Ontario representing the largest share, according to CAHRC. That’s why the federal and provincial governments are jointly investing $4 million in enhancing the sector’s labour force.
The New Ontario Agri-Careers Support Initiative will support pilot projects aimed at enticing and retaining skilled workers in the sector to address labour shortages.
The initiative will be administered through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year $3-billion government commitment for delivering agri-food programs.
Pilot projects that may be eligible for funding:
• Language proficiency solutions for ESL workers
• Transportation initiatives for commuting employees
• Childcare options for working parents
• Workspace environment improvement to help retain employees
Funding will be provided for pilot projects adopted by food processing businesses with over 100 employees. Pilot projects may be eligible for up to 70 per cent of approved expenses, with a maximum of $80,000 for each business or up to $200,000 for two or more collaborating businesses.
The Agricultural Adaptation Council will compile data from the pilot projects in a report for Ontario agri-food processors so they may implement successful programs in their own operations.