Canada and Ontario to launch new Agri-Careers Support Initiative
March 1, 2022 By Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
The governments of Canada and Ontario recently announced a plan to invest up to $4 million to help attract and retain workers in the agri-food sector.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the new Ontario Agri-Careers Support Initiative will support pilot projects that help the sector attract, support and retain workers by developing solutions that enable businesses to better meet the needs of employees.
Examples of pilot projects that could be eligible for funding include:
- 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
- Improving workspace environments to help retain employees.
Pilot projects may be eligible for up to 70 per cent of approved expenses to a maximum of $80,000 for individual businesses or up to $200,000 for a collaboration between two or more businesses. The new Ontario Agri-Careers Support will provide funding support for pilot projects undertaken by food processing businesses with more than 100 employees.
The data collected from these pilots will be compiled into a report by the Agricultural Adaptation Council, and shared with Ontario agri-food processors to help identify successful programs that may be utilized in their individual operations with the aim to address long-term labour challenges.
Applications for the new cost-share intake will be accepted starting on March 3, 2022. Approved projects must be completed by September 30, 2022.
The Canadian Agricultural Human resource Council (CAHRC) estimates an agri-food workforce shortfall of 123,000 by 2029 in Canada. Ontario is expected to represent the largest share of the shortfall.
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