Ottawa (Rural Roots Canada) – The number of help wanted signs in the agriculture sector is only expected to grow in the coming years as the ag labour force shrinks, according to a new report from the Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Council (CAHRC).

The CAHRC says the number of job vacancies will surpass 100,000 by 2030 as nearly one-third (85,300) of the agri-workforce in the country will retire by the beginning of the next decade.

The report, conducted by the Conference Board of Canada on behalf of the CAHRC, is titled Sowing Seeds of Change.

It says while temporary foreign workers (TFW) will help mitigate the growing problem, it will not solve the problem.

Even with the projected increase in TFW employment by 2030, an estimated 20 per cent or 22,200 positions will remain vacant.

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In a release, CAHRC Executive Director Jennifer Wright says labour shortages are one of the most serious issues because they have a direct impact on local food security, economic development and the sustainability of the sector.

“CAHRC’s labour market data offers the necessary insight to inform how we will tackle current and future challenges so our industry and its workforce can reach their full potential,” Wright said.

The report on ag labour has an in-depth analysis that is broken down by provinces and subsectors.

It also provides recommendations to attract and retain more agriculture workers. Those recommendations include public education to improve perceptions of agriculture, developing and updating HR management practices and adopting new technology and automation.

To read the full report, click here.