New institute will help address workforce shortage

Comments Off November 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm by Food in Canada magazine staff

Cambridge, Ont. – The Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) at the Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has opened its doors to a crop of new students, who will soon be bringing their skills to southern Ontario.

The opening of the IFPT, which will train students on leading-edge food processing technology, comes at a crucial time for Ontario’s food and beverage manufacturing industry.

A recent study released by the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors (AOFP) from consulting firm MNP LLP predicted that the sector will face serious long-term skilled workforce shortages by 2026.

The opening of the IFPT will help to mitigate these shortages, support innovation and technology, and strengthen Ontario’s economy.

Conestoga College’s president, John Tibbits, says the school is pleased to be a partner in a plan that addresses “the labour market needs of Canada’s food processing sector.”

“The advanced education and training programs that will be delivered through IFPT will provide many opportunities for students seeking successful careers as well as addressing the needs of one of Canada’s largest and most important industries,” says Tibbits.

During the grand opening, Tibbits also announced the institute would be named the Craig Richardson Institute of Food Processing Technology in recognition of the tremendous contributions made by Craig Richardson, AOFP’s president.

The institute was created through a partnership between the AOFP and Conestoga College. It’s the first and only technology centre that focuses on developing a skilled workforce, tailored to the needs of the sector.