Expanding Job Entry Pathways in Agri-food
First Work is excited to partner with the Ontario government to expand job entry pathways in Agri-food.
As with other sectors, the agriculture and food processing sectors are facing high labour shortages and a depleting workforce.
As Ontario navigates the increasing talent gaps and supply chain vulnerabilities, there is also opportunity to strengthen job pathways that better align with the new workforce’s motivations.
First Work is engaging Employment Service Agencies (ESPs) to participate in this project as well as Agri-food employers to establish talent pathways in various sub-sectors.
Over the next year, First Work aims to:
- Equip ESPs with the knowledge and tools needed to explore Agri-food as a viable job pathway for jobseekers;
- Inform job seekers about in-demand career pathways in Agri-food;
- Provide employers with financial and recruitment support for hiring, training, and retaining employees by facilitating employer-ESP relationships; and
- Host 4 regional Farm to Fork Career Exploration Fair.
- The Aspire Farm to Fork Career Fair will drive youth interest in Agri-food careers – from farm to fork. Young job seekers will engage with employers and exhibitors via interactive activity booths to learn about roles and in-demand careers they were previously unaware of.
Participation in the Expanding Job Entry Pathways in Agri-food initiative is open to all Employment Service Agencies and Agri-food business across Ontario. Although, due to regional demand, additional resources will be allocated to the following regions:
- Windsor to London
- Niagara to Hamilton
- Brockville to Ottawa
- GTA West (Peel and Toronto)
These regions have been selected following over 40 interviews with Member ESPs, employers, planning boards, and other stakeholders across Ontario.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
- Join an upcoming information session to learn more about the Agri-food sector and the in-demand employment opportunities currently available.
- Register for a GPS for Your Career – the free career navigation platform that can show you the various job pathways for life-long careers in Agri-food
- Contact [email protected] if you are interested in receiving 1:1 ongoing employment support in the Agri-food sector.
Employment Service Providers
- Join an upcoming information session to learn more about the Agri-food sector, in-demand employment opportunities and to include the sector in your career exploration conversation with job seekers.
- Link - Employment Service Provider
- Market the Expanding Job Entry Pathways in Agri-food initiative to jobseekers, prospective employers and other relevant stakeholders.
- Participate as an Exhibitor in an upcoming Farm to Fork Career Fairs to drive jobseeker interest in Agri-food careers – from farm to fork.
- Schedule a meeting to discuss how your business can receive FREE recruitment, training and retention support including:
- Receiving up to $10,000 per employee for professional development;
- Provincial funding up to $5,000 for hiring new talent;
- A $1000 signing bonus for new apprenticeships;
- FREE Candidate screening and interview support;
- Share the Expanding Job Entry Pathways in Agri-food to employers and associations within your network in need of support filling labour gaps.
Reach out to our Projects team via email ([email protected]) to participate in the Expanding Job Entry Pathways in Agri-food.
This project is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. First Work and our network of Employment Ontario agencies will help Agri-food businesses across the province find local workers and access employer incentives.
The Expanding Job Entry Pathways project is part of the province’s Food Security and Supply Chain Fund and Grow Ontario Strategy. Actions under the Strategy are designed to support economic recovery and resilience within Ontario’s Agri-food sector, while simultaneously helping address challenges, such as labour shortages and supply chain vulnerabilities.
Learn more about Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.
Learn more about Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.
Learn more about First Work’s Member agencies.
Interested in getting involved? Send us an email: [email protected].
We thank our project partners for actively working towards Expanding Job Entry Pathways in Agri-food!:
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