Protein Industries Canada and many companies are investing in a program that will introduce youth from kindergarten to grade 12 to the career opportunities available to them in the plant-protein, agrifood and digital agriculture sectors.
Part of a $2 million co-investment with the Enterprise Machine Intelligence & Learning Initiative (EMILI), national STEM outreach charity Actua and Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C), the project is intended to help address the agriculture industry’s growing need for a skilled workforce. In particular, it focuses on building capacity and fostering a competitive business environment within the plant-protein sector as Canada works toward positioning itself as a global leader in the supply of plant-based ingredients, food and feed.
The program will engage youth in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba, with a particular focus on Indigenous and other under-represented groups. It will be based on Actua’s existing STEM and digital skills programming, which incorporates Indigenous perspectives and land-based learning, and expand upon agriculture curriculum developed by the partners.
The program, targeted to reach 69,000 youth over three years, will increase knowledge of career opportunities in the agrifood sector and be delivered by post-secondary students from colleges and universities in Actua’s network across the prairies.
“Canada has the potential to become a global leader in plant protein, and strengthening and maintaining that reputation requires a knowledgeable, skilled workforce now and into the future,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “By teaching students about the opportunities available to them in our sector, EMILI, Actua and AITC are helping fill that need. They’re helping teach a new generation that our sector is filled with potential, and that it’s one where they can flourish in whatever capacity best suits them.”
The project is the first to be announced under Protein Industries Canada’s Capacity Building Program umbrella. EMILI, Actua and AITC-C are together investing $0.6 million into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing the remaining $1.4 million.
Businesses that have expressed support for the project include the following:
Exceed Grain Marketing
More info here.
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