Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Council reports on labour shortage

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council says in a new report that there is a critical shortage of workers for farms and food processing companies.

The council’s Labor Market Forecast to 2029 found in a survey that about 47 per cent of farm employers say they cannot fill their labor needs and that 37 per cent of the workforce is expected to retire in the next decade. 

The report suggest solutions lie in “untapped potential” within Canada and bringing in workers from other countries.

Foreign workers increased by 32 per cent, to nearly 60,000 between 2014 and 2017, the report said.

It mentions a Manitoba program aimed to train workers, noting that the Maple Leaf plant at Brandon is operating at 20 per cent below capacity because of the labour situation.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau was on pre-election campaign trail, meeting Tuesday with the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers marketing board and talking about the pilot project to allow employers to bring in 2,750 more temporary workers who will have the option to seek permanent resident status.