Most people are aware that Canada's food & beverage
processing industry, as well as our agriculture sector, is a major
component of our nation's GDP.
What you may not realize however, is just how many people are
employed by the industry. In fact, studies have shown that 1 in 8
Canadian jobs are in the ag or agri-food industries, with 740,000
roles existing in Ontario alone. What's more, the industry is
growing; 59% of agricultural businesses are projecting an increase
in hiring over the next two years. Last year there were 56,000
ag-related job openings across North America and looking ahead over
the next five years, 28% of jobs in this dynamic field will be
unfilled, creating plenty of opportunity for employment across a
range of fields.
Both federal and provincial government bodies recognize the
importance of this industry to Canada's economy. In Ontario,
the government actually supports food & beverage processors by
providing grants to offset hiring costs. If you're looking to
hire new employees, be sure to look into these three grants to
uncover what opportunities may be available for your business. For
other types of government grants, please see our
An Overview Of Grants For Your Agri-Food Business blog
post as well.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada– Career Focus
If your business hires recent graduates in agriculture,
agri-food science or veterinary medicine, you may be eligible for
one of the 80 agricultural internships as part of the Career Focus
Each internship is meant to last between 4-12 months and provide
a meaningful experience for the graduate. For example, you could
potentially hire an intern to conduct research on the varying
control methods used in a greenhouse.
Applications for the next round of funding are available on a
first come, first served basis and are only open until November 15,
2014, for projects commencing on or after April 1, 2015. Each
project can be funded for up to 50% of total eligible costs, up to
a maximum of $20,000 in matching funds. To learn more, click here.
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Rural
Economic Development (RED) Program
This program focuses on job creation in rural Ontario in the
areas of food processing, community revitalization and skills
training. Any rurally-based food & beverage processing business
can apply to develop a project related to youth attraction /
retention, leadership development, job fairs, mentorship programs
or industry training.
Funding can go toward the wages for new hires that will be
completely dedicated to this new project, provided no other
provincial funding has been allocated to the project, the business
is also willing to provide funding and has the experience and
knowledge to complete it. There are two streams of funding
available: planning and implementation. For details on the two
streams and how to apply, click here.
National Council Canada - Youth Employment Program
This youth-oriented program is designed to provide
post-secondary graduates opportunities to work on technical
projects, as well as technology-related projects, including
research and development, market analysis, business development,
multimedia, custom service improvement and engineering.
Businesses may apply for funding of up to $20,000 per employee,
with two graduates hired for six-to-twelve-month terms. Since this
program is geared toward innovation, your business must be willing
to work with the National Research Council's Industrial
Research Alliance Program (IRAP).
In addition, you must have 500 or less full-time employees and
seek out a potential employee under the age of 31 before submitting
an application to the program. One example of how this program
could be applied to a food & beverage processing business is
through hiring a recent graduate to determine the benefits of
implementing a new traceability system for your cattle company. To
learn more about accessing this program, click here.
While there are plenty of funding opportunities available for
expanding your workforce, understanding which program is best
suited for your current and future hiring needs can be a challenge.
Working with a professional that understands your industry, hiring
needs and the grant application process can help streamline your
funding applications and lead to a higher rate of fulfillment.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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