Food In Canada

Research sheds light on pool of potential future employees

By Food in Canada   

Research & Development Food In Canada Food Processing Skills Canada

February 10, 2020, Ottawa, Ont. – Research completed by Food Processing Skills Canada (FPSC) is providing employers with valuable insight into the motivations, perceptions, interests, challenges and preferences of prospective employees for the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

The analysis targeted four population segments that are facing labour market challenges – youth, Indigenous people, recent immigrants and individuals unemployed or having been unemployed at least twice in the last five years.

The research showed that those who are actively looking for employment were significantly more willing to move for a job than those not looking. This difference was highest amongst Indigenous people. Information like this contributes to FPSC’s workforce development strategy.

Workforce planning is critically important for Canada’s 10,000-plus food and beverage manufacturing businesses given the growing gap of individuals to fill jobs in the industry, and especially since labour market projections from FPSC indicated 65,000 new workers will be required if businesses are to achieve the export sales target set by the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table.


The sector is a major source of economic growth in Canada, and the number one manufacturing employer, but businesses simply can not find enough people to fill positions.

The survey data revealed that:

  • Those in the four targets segments were more interested in taking a job in food and beverage processing compared to the average Canadian resident.
  • Youth (25 and under) are more likely to look for a job on Instagram than LinkedIn.
  • The most trusted source for individuals to hear about a job is their family or friends, the source they trust second is employers.

To form a better understanding of the employment potential, the research further analyzed the respondents who self-identified as unemployed or actively looking for work at the time of the survey. Of interest, those people are more likely to be aware of the sector and have positive impressions of jobs within the sector than the general public. This is in line with other findings that show that increased awareness of the sector leads to increased interest in working in the sector.

The research found the targeted segments are more likely to be predisposed and open to working in the food and beverage processing industry than other Canadians. In particular, the willingness of recent immigrants and Indigenous people has emerged as two promising segments for food and beverage career development.

“I am excited to share this research with all industry stakeholders. There is so much contained in these reports which hasn’t been seen before. It has confirmed for me the potential for the industry to grow by finding their next workers,” said FPSC executive director Jennefer Griffith.

The research further explored perceptions and willingness to try different jobs in the meat and seafood manufacturing sectors. These results complement the labour market analysis completed by FPSC for the same two sectors.

Click here to download the perceptions research reports, “Your Next Worker: Everything You Need to Know – Perceptions of the people you’re trying to reach,” and “Your Next Worker: What You Need to Know – Overview and data from our perceptions research.”

FPSC a is the workforce development and skills organization for Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry. To learn more about the organization, visit

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