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Funds now available to train, retain workers for agri-food sector

$1.5M available through Canadian Agricultural Partnership
The Cole-Munro aquaculture farm near Manitoulin Island produces rainbow trout.

Funding is now available for industry-led projects that will attract, train and retain new workers for the agri-food sector.

This new intake for the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a provincial-federal initiative, opened on Oct. 21.

The $1.5-million funding packet aims to address the ongoing labour shortage experienced by the agri-food industry, a situation that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, 16,500 agricultural jobs went unfilled in 2017 across Canada and the shortfall is expected to grow to 123,000 by 2029. Ontario is expected to represent the largest share of the shortfall.

Through this intake, applicants can receive up to 70 per cent of funding of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $250,000.

Eligible projects include: 

  • implementing new, enhanced or expanded approaches to attract and retain labour;
  • planning, analyzing and assessing labour force needs; and
  • implementing training to address identified workforce needs, including training to improve food safety and traceability, labour productivity or tech-focused skills gap.

Submissions will be accepted until the funding runs out, and projects must be completed by Sept. 30, 2022.