Plan To Attract Young People To Ag-Food Sector

Work has started on an action plan to attract young people to careers in the agriculture and food sector.

Surveys suggest almost 60 per cent of employers in the food processing sector are having trouble finding job candidates with proper training.

One report suggests the agriculture and food industry’s demand for new hires straight out of university programs is expected to increase by 10-20 per cent over the next few years.

Food and Beverage Ontario Chair Norm Beal argues an investment must be made in reaching the next generation workforce.

FBO’s action plan will collaborate between industry and academia as related post-secondary programs are developed and enhanced in the future.

It will also promote the industry and those programs to young people deciding on their education and career paths.

FBO Executive Director Steve Peters says there is an opportunity for the industry to grow by 60 thousand jobs to 185 thousand by 2020 and generate over 70 billion dollars in sales.

The action plan is being developed by Ontario food and beverage processing businesses, educational institutions and government leaders.