The agriculture and agri-food sectors are a major economic force in Canada. It employs over 2.3 million Canadians. Amazingly, this sector accounts for 1 in 8 jobs in the Canadian economy (12% of Canadian employment). The sector’s direct impact on the Canadian economy will be significant as the global demand for Canada’s food and agriculture products increases.

Labour Shortage

The CAHRC-CCRHA reports Canadian farmers lost $2.9B in 2020 due to labour shortages.  This resulted in significant production delays, production losses, and lost sales. If the shortage of on-farm agriculture workers actually rises to 114,000 by 2025 as projected, these results could continue.  Thus, as this labour shortage affects the primary commodity sector, the entire agri-food chain is, ultimately, at risk.

Shrinking Agri Workforce

Unfortunately, shortages persist across all areas of this sector, not just on-farm.  Statistically, with the rising number of retirements, workers moving to other industries, and fewer younger workers considering agriculture, the workforce is drastically shrinking. 

  • The workforce in Canada is ageing (over 65); sixteen percent (93,000 workers) of the agriculture sector is expected to retire between 2014 and 2025 (1 in 4),
  • Other than SK and AB, there is a decline in the younger population which means fewer graduates to enter the industry,  and
  • The entry of apprentices in the trades is low.

In many areas, the demand far exceeds the available talent already!  Thankfully, there are numerous resources now available for those seeking to enter the agricultural industry.   

Agri Hiring Challenges

As always, agricultural employers face unique challenges when hiring.  Unfortunately, many agriculture positions are hindered by:

  • The seasonality and hours required,
  • The rural location of facilities, and
  • The lack of applicants with the right applicable skills and experience.

Sadly, while there are incoming applications from other sectors, not all education and experience transfers to agriculture.

Solutions

The solutions outlined by industry stakeholders for the on-farm positions involve improving access to foreign workers.  Plus, for all agriculture careers, the solutions include:

  • Delineating clear career pathways,
  • Enhancing recruitment and retention efforts, and
  • Ongoing training.

Connect with Us

Thankfully, we fit within the recruitment and retention category.  We have been in the industry since 1996 and, as a result, we know the pulse of the agribusiness/agri-food industry. Simply put, we introduce candidates, like you, to Canadian employers. We find the talent the meets their needs by introducing them to candidates whom they would never have met without us, for example. But, we lack the licenses to assist with acquiring foreign workers/immigration.

If you are one of the Top Performers considering a new career position in 2021/2022, we invite you to connect with our team.  Please note, however, we work primarily in the Agronomy/Seed, Animal Health/Nutrition, Equipment/Manufacturing, and Grain/Food Processing career paths.

So, if you seek career progression opportunities or have a mid-to-senior level agribusiness/agri-food vacancy – Call #GRS_Recruiters today at 1.888.778.0570. We work with, and have, a passion for #ag.  Check out: http://www.grasslandsgroup.com

A summary of what we do: https://grasslandsgroup.com/grsblog/2020/05/01/passive-candidate-a-recruiters-tale/

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