April 8, 2021 (OTTAWA) – The Food and Beverage Manufacturing National Workforce and Recovery Action Plan released today details the critical situation faced by one of Canada’s most important industries and outlines what is needed to strengthen innovation in the sector and address a growing skilled trades deficit.
Found in every province and region, the sector’s almost 8,000 companies play a critical role in contributing to Canada’s food sovereignty and economic well-being, and in supporting the country’s primary agriculture sector and international trade objectives.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers continued to operate, ensuring Canadians had the food they needed during difficult times. To do that, food and beverage companies invested $1 billion to modify their plants and implement measures to protect the safety of their workers. As this work continues, Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector is also eyeing the future – ensuring it has the foundation for continued stability and continued growth.
Today, provincial and regional food and beverage manufacturing associations from across the country have released the National Workforce and Recovery Action Plan. The plan identifies the issues preventing Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector from realizing its growth potential and recommends actions the federal government can take, in partnership with industry, to ensure the sector has what it needs to grow. The Action Plan focuses on two key themes: Labour and Innovation.
Food and beverage is the largest manufacturing employer in Canada, with almost 300,000 workers. However, it is estimated that the sector is currently short 30,000 workers – 10 per cent of its workforce, and by 2025 we expect vacancies to reach 65,000. In addition to a shortage of workers, companies regularly report challenges in ensuring workers have the appropriate skills to match the needs of an evolving sector. Added to this, the food and beverage manufacturing sector is lagging other industries and other countries when it comes to investment in innovative processes and technologies.
The National Workforce and Recovery Action Plan, found here, outlines how the federal government can support Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector by implementing policies to strengthen innovation and address its skilled trades deficit and ongoing labour needs.
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