National workforce strategy for agriculture and food & beverage manufacturing

This project will address persistent and growing labour and skills shortages affecting Canada’s agriculture and food processing industries. For these industries to remain viable, competitive, and a significant contributor to the country’s economic health, a sufficient, predictable, reliable and skilled workforce is required.

Led by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), the project aims to develop a national workforce strategy on labour challenges in these industries. The project will:

  • gather information about programs and services developed by industry, governments and educational stakeholders to mitigate workforce challenges;
  • identify information gaps and recommend new program and tools development to address these gaps;
  • promote existing programs and services;
  • engage industry associations, business owners, governments, and educational stakeholders in extensive consultations to build on existing work; and
  • develop new tools based on recommendations by industry.
Person working in food facility

The Future Skills Centre is investing $1.8 million in this two-year project. To assist in the development of a national agriculture and food workforce strategy, introductory research will be undertaken to fill information gaps. The following research reports will be finalized in the project’s first year:

  • impact of technology and automation on the future Canadian agriculture labour supply, demand and skills requirements;
  • identifying and addressing barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food labour force;
  • identifying and addressing barriers to attracting urban/non-traditional job seekers to agriculture careers; and
  • Compensation data analysis for Canadian agriculture.

In the following year, the national strategy and related tools will be developed through extensive collaboration with industry associations, government and educational stakeholders.

The strategy will serve as a roadmap for action and will include a vision for the future, priorities, and stakeholder commitments. Tools to assist stakeholders in their workforce development strategies will be developed based on industry needs.

The direct involvement of CAHRC’s partners will be essential to the success of the project. The National Agriculture and Food Workforce Strategy Consortium, a project advisory group, and a series of working groups will guide the progress of the project.

Evaluation Strategy

This project will be evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its goals, context, and stage of development. The evaluation will focus on generating the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read more about our evaluation strategy.

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