The federal and Ontario agriculture departments are launching a new program to help employers recruit and retain farm workers.
Pilot projects will be eligible for up to $80,000 to cover up to 70 per cent of approved expenses. If two or more businesses collaborate, the limit could be up to $200,000.
Examples of pilot projects are:
- transportation initiatives for employees to commute to the job site;
- childcare options while parents are at work;
- language proficiency solutions for workers with English as a second language, and
- Improving workspace environments to help retain employees.
“There are countless quality and dynamic job opportunities for those looking for rewarding careers in agriculture,” said federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.
“Our government will continue to support initiatives that help Ontario’s food sector retain skilled workers and operate under the best possible conditions to continue providing nutritious, safe, high-quality foods to Canadians and a growing global population," Bibeau said.
Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson said “there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to address the labour challenges in our agri-food sector.
“We are supporting projects that will make it easier for workers to start and continue their careers in the agri-food sector. These projects will help provide concrete solutions to ensure the sector have the workers they need to keep the province’s food supply chain safe and strong.”
What a welcome alternative to temporary foreign workers.