Non-traditional Agricultural Labour Sources

Supporting Canada's non-traditional agricultural labour sources.

Canada's agriculture sector faces unique challenges that impact its ability to attract and retain enough workers. In 2014, 26,400 jobs went unfilled in Canada's agriculture sector, costing $1.5 billion in lost revenues. The situation will worsen between now and 2025, by which time the agriculture sector's labour gap is expected to double.

With a growing need for labour of every type, including entry-level workers, managerial staff, specialists, and owner-operators, the sector must explore new options. By considering non-traditional labour sources and taking steps to support non-traditional labour in the workplace, the agriculture sector can improve its ability to find and keep the workers needed to support continued growth.

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To this end, CAHRC commissioned a series of research reports that examine the potential of non-traditional labour sources, which include Aboriginal people, immigrants, and persons with disabilities. The research explores some of the barriers that prevent these groups from joining the agricultural labour force, and identifies innovative approaches, new opportunities, and success criteria for increasing participation.

Options and Opportunities for Attracting Non-Traditional Workers to the Agricultural Industry

This report consolidates data research, focus-group findings, and an environmental scan of existing programs and services to identify Aboriginal people, immigrants, and persons with disabilities as three sources of non-traditional labour with the potential to make a contribution to the agriculture sector labour force.

The report also identifies barriers to employment and options for addressing these barriers, and includes an overview of the input provided by focus groups conducted with employment services agencies that work with each of the three non-traditional labour sources.

New Opportunities for Expanding the Agricultural Workforce: Pilot Projects with Under-Represented Groups

Building on the research conducted in the March 2015 report, CAHRC commissioned three pilot project plans to expand the participation of Aboriginal people, immigrants, and persons with disabilities in the agricultural workforce.

This report examines innovative approaches to increase agricultural employment among these labour sources through an examination of 14 success case studies, and identifies common success criteria evident across 10 case studies.

All 14 case studies, along with the case study interview template, are also included in this report.

Addressing Barriers to Agriculture Employment and Expanding the Agriculture Workforce Pilot Projects

This final report summarizes the activities associated with the pilot projects for increasing agricultural labour force participation among Aboriginal people, immigrants, and persons with disabilities.

The contents include a summary of the research, consultation, industry validation, success case study development, and success criteria identification. The process for recruitment and selection of pilot project sites and the development of a hiring guide for target labour sources is also described.

The report includes an interim summative evaluation of the pilot projects, including outcomes, applicant perspectives, strengths and challenges of the projects, and lessons learned.

Summative Evaluation Report of the Researching Barriers to Agricultural Employment Pilot Projects

This report delivers a complete summative evaluation to assess the impact of the planning, implementation, and communication of the pilot projects.

The report also evaluates the performance of the pilot projects against intended goals and metrics, including the number of new hires from the three non-traditional labour sources targeted, including Aboriginal people, immigrants, and persons with disabilities.