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Opinion: Ways must be found to retain immigrants

Labour shortages in the agricultural industry continue to attract considerable attention. We covered it most recently on the front page of the Nov. 9 issue, which reported on a new survey from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council.

The results were predictably grim: 28,200 jobs unfilled during peak season in 2022, resulting in a 3.7 per cent decline in sales and an estimated $3.5 billion in lost sales for on-farm agriculture businesses.

The nationwide job vacancy rate was 5.9 per cent, but agriculture reported peak vacancy of 7.4 per cent.

The future isn’t expected to brighten anytime soon. The council forecasts that over the next eight years, the domestic labour gap will rise by 15 per cent from 87,700 this year to 101,100 in 2030.

To ease this situation, varied solutions will be required. On the home front, suggestions include better education of the domestic workforce to promote the opportunities available in agriculture. It’s a dynamic industry with jobs available from the basic to the high-tech, but that still doesn’t seem well-known outside agricultural circles.

More and more, however, the industry is looking outside the country for answers.

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Grain Markets - Heather Ramsey

Video: Grain Markets - Heather Ramsey

Over to the Grain Markets. This week we are joined by Heather Ramsey of the ARC Group. Heather thanks for joining us this week.