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Feds invest in ag workforce management

Feds invest in ag workforce management

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council will lead a new Quality AgriWorkforce Management Program

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The federal government is helping Canadian farmers navigate the process of hiring and managing temporary foreign workers.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is investing about $280,000 in the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) to lead the International Phase of the Quality AgriWorkforce Management Program (QAMP).

CAHRC’s role in the program development will include creating training products, website content, webinars and workshops.

The program is designed to keep ag employers up to date on several items relating to hiring and managing temporary international employees, said Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, executive director of CAHRC.

“It will help employers ensure that they understand the rules to access international workers so they can (utilize) the (Temporary Foreign Worker Program) in a clear and quick way and get the workers they need to fill requirements when Canadians aren’t available,” she told Farms.com. “(QAMP) also clarifies the rules when the workers are in place and what ways employers can be managing workforces.

“It also lays out best management practices to go above and beyond and ensure there’s quality in everything that everybody does around staff management practices, and it clarifies what an employer can expect during a randomized audit.”

The government will provide CAHRC with funding for about nine months.

After that time, CAHRC will add information regarding temporary foreign workers to a pre-existing toolkit on its website.

The AgriHR Toolkit provides ag employers with materials on several items from building a business plan to improving farm safety.

The Canadian ag industry included labour shortages as a key theme in the Economic Strategy Table: Agri-Food report.

Ensuring Canadian farmers have access to employees is important for industry growth.

“Canada's agricultural sector faces significant labour shortages, with over half of the work being seasonal and in rural areas with lower populations,” Jati Sidhu, MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, said in a Jan. 24 statement. “Reliable access to labour is critical for this sector to ensure both continued food production and job creation.”

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