Friday, December 2, 2016

Farm labour shortage looming

The Conference Board of Canada says there will be 113,800 jobs going begging for farm workers by 2025, double today’s total.

That means the Temporary Farm Workers Program is needed, it says while the federal government has a policy review underway.

It also recommends that temporary foreign workers be allowed to apply for permanent residence status.

However, that might not help much because the process is costly, the foreigners need documentation and only those with higher skills qualify, the report says.

It also says international competition for temporary foreign farm workers is increasing, especially from Australia and the United States.

The Conference Board of Canada says farmers have difficulty recruiting workers because the hours are long – an average of 44.8 compared with 35.9 for other jobs – the work is hard and the pay is low – an average of $684 a week compared with $923 for other sectors in the Canadian economy.