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Niagara agribusinesses facing hiring challenges

Niagara agribusinesses facing hiring challenges

78 industry members participated in a Niagara Workforce Planning Board survey

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Some ag employers in Niagara region are having a difficult time finding employees, new research has found.

The Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) conducted a study of 78 industry employers on their 2017 operations to get a sense of the challenges local agribusinesses have in attracting good employees.

Altogether, the agribusinesses hired 574 people last year, and about 30 per cent (23) of the employers described hiring new workers as extremely difficult.

NWPBB noticed a few themes were present among the challenging hiring processes, said Adam Durrant, NWPB operations and research manager.

Adam Durrant

“The top four challenges we identified were a lack of motivation, not enough applicants, a lack of technical skills and a lack of work experience,” he told today. “Those results definitely stuck out for us, but we can work with other (employment) service providers to get people trained and pair them with proper employers.”

Now that NWPB has this collection of data, they can work with Employment Ontario, high schools and post-secondary schools to determine how to find solutions to those issues, he said.

But more research needs to be conducted before the data can be extrapolated further, Durrant said.

“This research is very much the first word on the matter, not the final word,” he said. “This is a place for us to start and find out what other questions we need to ask on the subject as we move forward.”