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Helping fill Alberta ag’s labour gaps

Helping fill Alberta ag’s labour gaps

Agriculture for Life will receive $2.5 million in funding to help companies hire and retain workers

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The federal and Alberta governments are working together to support ag employment in the province.

Through the Canada-Alberta Labour Market Development Agreement, the governments are providing $2.5 million to Agriculture for Life, an organization dedicated to building a greater understanding and appreciation of agriculture.

Ag for Life will use the funding to help companies recruit, hire and retain workers in the agriculture and agri-food industry.

“With a mandate of advancing agriculture literacy and career pathways, Ag for Life is excited to see this funding support Alberta producers and processors so they can continue to attract, grow and retain a strong workforce now and into the future,” Luree Williamson, CEO of Ag for Life, said in a statement.

Eligible organizations can apply for grants from Ag for Life.

Grants can total up to $40,000 for companies to use to increase public awareness of agricultural career opportunities through online advertising campaigns.

In addition, Ag for Life will provide grants of up to $25,000 for organizations to put towards human resources training to improve worker retention.

In 2021, the agri-food industry employed 58,300 Albertans.

But Alberta will need ag workers in the coming years.

A report from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council estimates Alberta will need 62,000 workers for its ag sector by 2029.

In addition, 42 per cent of the current workforce could be lost to retirement and 19,600 jobs are at risk of going unfilled by 2029.

The report also notes challenges Alberta ag businesses face in recruiting and retaining workers.

These hurdles include workplaces being in rural areas, the physical nature of the work and the seasonal nature of working in agriculture.

If you or someone you know is looking for work in agriculture, try visiting AgCareers.com.


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