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New investment in Atlantic Canada’s food-beverage manufacturing workforce


Food Processing Skills Canada, the food and beverage manufacturing industry’s non-profit workforce development organization, has launched Skills Training Atlantic Canada (STAC), a new workforce training program for employers and employees.

Food manufacturing is a major sector in Atlantic Canada, with notable bench strength in the processing of seafood and also fruits and vegetables in PEI and New Brunswick. However, chronic low levels of investment and a shortage of skilled workers have been a significant limiting factor to industry development.

Labour market analysis by Food Processing Skills Canada has illustrated a grim situation for the industry, not only in Atlantic Canada, but across the country. By 2025, approximately 44,000 people, or 16% of the national workforce, will retire. This number is magnified in Atlantic Canada, where employment in food manufacturing is twice as high as in the rest of the country. Changes in population and labour market tightness, especially in seafood processing, has drawn concern in a region that should be primed for growth in both domestic and international markets.

To support recruitment, retention and training strategies for businesses in Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, Food Processing Skills Canada designed STAC with partners in the region. The curriculum is guided by the industry’s national Learning and Recognition Framework and will include courses in:

●Essential skills such as Numeracy and Working with Others
●Food Safety and technical skills such as Quality Assurance and Sanitation
●Operational and leadership skills, including Supervise Employee Performance andMonitoring Budgets
●Emotional intelligence skills, such as Adaptability and Empathy led by the Acahkos Program

Participants in the following streams – new hires & seasonal workers, frontline and supervisors – will learn through self-directed training, gamification and coaching.

“We understand how important it is for employees to feel valued. STAC will provide self-paced, online learning and micro-credentialling for company teams, at no cost,” said Jennefer Griffith. “Competency-based training is fundamental to solving workforce challenges in Atlantic Canada. When people have the right technical and emotional intelligence skills they are more likely to find their job rewarding and commit for the long-term. Companies with a culture of continuous learning are also more attractive to job seekers, especially iGens and Millennials,” said Mike Timani, President, Fancy Pokket & Chair, Food Processing Skills Canada.

Executive Director, Food Processing Skills Canada. “Inclusivity and diversity is central to creating a strong workforce culture and food and beverage manufacturing is proud to employ approximately 30% of new Canadians, highest among all economic sectors across Canada.” The first cohort for Supervisor training begins on February 15, 2021. Cohorts for New Hires & Seasonal Workers and Frontline Workers will follow shortly after.

Your Next Worker: What You Need to Know
Food Processing Skills Canada Food Processing Skills Canada is the workforce development and skills council for Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry. Through our industry and government partnerships we provide resources and programs that support food and beverage businesses in developing their workforce, and people in building their careers. To learn more about the organization please visit www.fpsc-ctac.com. About Future Skills Centre
Future Skills Centre is a forward-thinking research and collaboration hub dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success and meeting the emerging talent needs of employers. As a pan-Canadian community, FSC brings together experts and organizations across sectors to rigorously identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to develop the skills needed to drive prosperity and inclusion. FSC is directly involved in innovation through investments in pilot projects and academic research on the future of work and skills in Canada. The Future Skills Centre is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills program.

Image: Mike Timani, President, Fancy Pokket & Chair, Food Processing Skills Canada (CNW Group/Food Processing Skills Canada)


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