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A Labour Gap Threatens The Grains And Oilseeds Industry

Canada’s grain and oilseed industry is expected to see one in four jobs go unfilled due to a lack of available workers over the next decade.
That could prove devastating to the industry’s potential growth according to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council.
It's updated its labour market forecast research with the recent release of a new report called How Labour Challenges Will Shape the Future of the Grain and Oilseed Industry: Agriculture Forecast to 2029. The report reveals that in 2018 alone, the grain and oilseed sector lost a staggering $594 million in sales due to labour shortages.
"At a time when the global demand for food is rising and Canada has the ability and resources to produce it, it is critical to address the shortages identified within the research," explains Portia MacDonald, Executive Director of CAHRC. "By working together, government and industry can create a Canadian agriculture sector that employs, feeds, and thrives."
In 2017, the grain and oilseeds industry employed 38,750 workers, but was unable to fill 2,000 positions. By 2029, it will need 42,500 workers and the labour gap is predicted to reach 10,600, which means that one in four jobs will remain vacant.
This situation is largely the result of two factors: the loss of 39 per cent of the current workforce to retirement and the shrinking of the domestic workforce by 6,900 workers over the forecast period.
With no access to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program or the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the grain and oilseed industry is challenged to supplement its workforce with foreign workers when domestic workers are unavailable to fill positions.
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