Finding enough workers to support the agri-food industry in Canada has remained a significant challenge for decades. The sector, which yields nearly $200 billion annually, is still struggling with maintaining its domestic and export sales. A study in 2014 indicated that Canada has a shortage of talent and impedes the economic growth of the agri-food industry. Again, there were nearly 25,000 unfilled jobs that lead to a loss of $1.5 billion in economic output.
As such, the industry has progressively turned to temporary foreign workers to fill positions left vacant. That is, foreign workers have risen from 1 in every 20 workers to 1 in every 10 workers in Canada. The projection is anticipated to reach 1 in every 5 workers within a few years. These are some of the strategies to ensure the agri-food sector remains productive in the Canadian economy.
Why Foreign Workers Are Suitable for Agri-Food Jobs
The dependence on immigrants to work in the industry is contributed by the fact that Canadians are refraining from working in the sector. Many terms it as physically challenging and frequent overtime duties. Besides, working areas are remote; therefore, commuting time acts as a challenge for Canadian citizens. Agri-food jobs are seasonal, and most Canadian citizens want stable and permanent employment to work in.
The salaries are also competitive to specific occupations in the sector and with a lot to offer. The hiking of pay is to attract more workers and hire the best. Hiring Canadian citizens is often inexpensive and more convenient, but difficulties arise from these reasons. Other than Canada, countries like U.S, U.K, and Australia are facing the same problem. As such, they prefer temporary foreign workers to fill open positions across the industry.