Feds announce funding to develop BMPs around recruitment and retention of foreign workers

The federal government is spending nearly $280,000 to fund the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) to lead the International Phase of the Quality AgriWorkforce Management Program.

This project, funded through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, is designed to clarify best practices for recruiting and retaining international workers. CAHRC’s activities will involve developing and delivering communications and training products for employers, including guides, website content, webinar and workshop training materials and, promotional materials.

According to the federal government, research has shown that each international worker who is hired results in two to four full-time Canadian agriculture-related jobs up and down the agri-food supply chain.

“Canada’s agricultural sector faces significant labour shortages, with over half of the work being seasonal and in rural areas with lower populations. Reliable access to labour is critical for this sector to ensure both continued food production and job creation across British Columbia and all of Canada,” says Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon.

The agriculture and agri-food sector is a major contributor to Canada’s economy, employing approximately 2.3 million people in 2017. Reliable access to labour is vital for the sector to ensure it can continue to create high-quality jobs and meet the growing demand for top-quality products for Canadians and consumers around the world.

“Farm employers participating in the International Phase of the Quality AgriWorkforce Management Program are putting time and effort into learning the evolving process, the rules, and best practices to support their farm workers. International workers are an important part of the diverse Canadian AgriWorkforce team. CAHRC is proud to provide this new program supporting the hiring and management of international workers, improving the understanding that agriculture is a trustworthy industry that safeguards its workers,” says Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, executive director, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council.

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