According to a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada, Sowing the Seeds of Growth: Temporary Foreign Workers in Agriculture, labour shortages are an ongoing issue.
The report indicates that Canada’s labour gap has doubled over the past 10 years, rising to nearly 60,000 people in 2014, and is due to double again in the next decade.
The increasing labour gap is due to a combination of factors, including that of an aging workforce, substantial seasonal fluctuations in employment, the distant locations of many work sites, and the overall negative opinion about agricultural-type of work.
As of its launch in March of this year, Canada’s WorkHorsehub, has set its aim at the agricultural sector, matching workers who have the right skills to the farming industry via laptop or a handheld device.
The site’s goal is to serves as a platform to help ease Canada’s agribusiness labour shortage, enabling farmers to tap into a global community of skilled workers — “Global is the new local.”
Much like other online job portals, WorkHorsehub’s users are urged to create a free profile which highlights their skills, as well as post photos and videos.
For a CAD$500 fee for each job post or up to CAD$2,400 for an annual subscription, employers can post vacant positions, and peruse potential candidates’ qualifications and availability.
The Conference Board report states that the industry needs approximately 100,000 additional workers during the season’s height, which represents a 30 per cent increase compared to the low season, meaning that traffic to WorkHorsehub should be substantial.
The jobs offered on WorkHorsehub are are categorised by Agribusiness, Food/Processing, Government/Non-profit and Production/Farming, and vary from executive level to farm hands and heavy equipment operators.
Currently the portal is mainly focusing on Saskatchewan but workers come from around the world and the aim is to eventually connect them with farms throughout Canada.