Future of the Rural Workforce

Electricity: an untapped career avenue…

While many young individuals have some trouble navigating the workforce, Don Proctor argues that careers within the electricity sector are not acknowledged for their full potential. There may be many opportunities to work within the major corporations such as Hydro, but he argues that there are many other sects of work that are overlooked, but necessary. This plentiful field of work should be recognized by youth, and in particular, rural youth; due to the scarcity of work opportunities within rural areas, it is important that young adults are educated on the different openings available, and in need of workers. Read more >>

Concerns regarding the back-to-school plans…

The COVID-19 pandemic had significant impact on students at the tail end of the 2019-2020 academic year; with September right around the corner many families are concerned for the wellbeing of their children, and themselves, due to the vague plans addressing the concerns for schools re-opening. Many parents believe that there has not been enough forethought put into the risks that opening schools may cause, and though there are hopes to re-spark the economy it is concerning for rural families, who do not have easy access to healthcare facilities. Read more >>

Tax breaks & concerns for rural…

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Alberta’s rural government is calling for potential tax breaks on the oil and gas firms in hopes to secure investment for the years to come. These initiatives, however, are posing concerns for everyone residing within rural communities. Property taxes on both private homes and private businesses would be hit hard with these proposed revisions on the last financial year. Many are claiming that even without the tax break, many families within the rural communities are already financially marginalized. Without new job opportunities, and the persisting financial strain many have faced during the plummeting economy, individuals are voicing their concerns for the rural workforce. Read more on the concerns here.

The future of rural agriculture…

Due to the COVID-19 resurgences throughout provinces and rural communities, many are beginning to question the wellbeing of individuals who are forced to work within cramped factory farms. These vulnerabilities have always been a concern, however, with ongoing policy reforms we may see significant changes in the years to come. There is more pressure on the agricultural businesses to reduce employees, and enhance social distancing measures to contest the risks of spreading coronavirus. This in mind, it is clear to see that the changes to come will inevitably influence smaller family farms. Read more >>

Overcoming contemporary bias…

Immigration is a significant component of the Canadian economy, especially with consideration to seasonal, and agricultural work. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been concerns that this sect of the rural workforce may face certain apprehension and discriminations moving forward. We are fortunate to be in Canada where the integration of immigration is made to be a priority, however, we must assess the realistic truth that there may be future hurdles for these families in particular in the future. Here we have Ratna Omidvar discussing the severity of concerns immigrant families may face in the future, and ways in which Canada can work to ensure comforts to these families, as well as integrate them comfortably into rural communities. Read more >>

Entrepreneurship within indigenous communities…

If the recent pandemic has taught rural communities anything, it is that there is plenty of room for improvement in terms of creating jobs and supporting local. Due to these developments, there have been designated funds put forth towards the BC Indigenous Agriculture Development Programme to help Indigenous entrepreneurs with up to $8,000 in specialised planning and coaching services to develop and plan their food and agriculture businesses. This type of support has the power to influence sustainable development for Indigenous populations, and should be considered in additional provinces. Read more >>

Rural communities fighting to make it through…

While the backlashes of the COVID-19 pandemic are still persisting, it is important to recognize the sacrifices individuals in rural communities are making. On this CBC Radio episode of Now or Never interviewers Ify Chiwetelu and Trevor Dineen discusses the distressing realities of how individuals in small communities are putting in the effort to make it through these pressing times, while supporting those around themselves. Listen in here >>

Drawbacks of rural telemedicine…

A recent segment in The National Geographic discussed the concerns surrounding the effects of telemedicine in rural United States healthcare system. While this advance in rural medicine has many seeming benefits for the sake of the residents of these significantly secluded citizens, there are many drawbacks that put financial strain on facilities. These discussions may be based in the United States, however, they still discuss relevant topics regarding the Canadian systems put in place. Read more >>

Ontario’s pilot for the future of rural…

The Rural Change Makers pilot is a Rural Ontario Institute program founded on the goal to inspire youth in rural communities to take on leadership roles. The program was designed with online courses and webinars to get the candidates together, and spark conversations regarding rural improvements, and what people are in need of within their communities. Though the deadline for this round of applicants has passed, it is important to utilize programs such as these to implement innovative programs for rural youth in the future. Read more >>

Innovations for rural workers…

Concerns for the Canadian economy have been pressing since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, there is still specific concerns for the underpinning structures of rural communities. Yes, there is support designated for rural towns across Canada, but more often than not, issues that are arising have to due with the lacking supply chain, and resource accessibility for these smaller communities. The effects have been described as “catastrophic,” and there is currently the need to identify these gaps in resource acquisition in order to make changes for a more equitable post-COVID life. Read more >>

The next generation of agriculturalists…

It has been discussed before, this generation of agriculturalists are quickly entering into retirement, and we as a country need to begin thinking about who will take their places in the economy. Now more than ever food security is at the forefront of Canada’s concerns for the near future with the COVID-19 pandemic still persisting, and these industry deficits are sparking the need to become more innovative in advertising the appeal in entering into agriculture. Angela Lovell speaks more on some potential strategies regarding this concern here!

“Agro-hero” misconceptions…

The provincial and federal government has been pushing for Canadians to seek jobs in the agricultural field due to recent vacancies, and concerns for food security. However, not everyone is cut out for this type of work, and it may lead to many issues for the agri-business owners with regards to liability. Agriculture is not a sect of unskilled labour, and many seeking work in this realm of industry will find that out the hard way. Read more >>

RNIP work in Canada…

Sudbury, Ontario is one of three cities that have launched the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program; although there are travel restrictions with the ongoing pandemic, they are hoping to have hired a significant workforce for the future. The pilot was created within the last year to encourage development of a diverse workforce across Canada, and assist in integrating families to rural communities. Read more >>

Healthcare appreciation…

Healthcare providers are at the forefront of combating the effects of COVID-19, and although there are being steps to alter the fees designated for these essential workers, many are saying that it isn’t enough. What permanent changes must be implemented to retain rural healthcare workers? How will the government accommodate these needs? Read more on the current concerns of Alberta physicians here.

Immigrant workers & COVID-19…

“Syed Hussan, executive director of Canada-based advocacy group Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, told The Gleaner that seasonal labourers contracted to work in Canada should not have had to decide between their safety and earning in a foreign country.” Immigrant workers are facing a particular disadvantage in terms of job security, and financial aid. While most workers are seasonally contracted, the disregard for their safety has to be acknowledged and amended accordingly. Read more >>

Farm work & youth safety education…

The agri-food business is typically a family run affair, and the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) realizes the importance of youth education. As the future workers of the agricultural businesses and industries, the organization is constantly trying to promote ongoing education on safety. Each year CASA holds Safety Days, an interactive program that promotes farm education and safety for Canadian youth. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the organization has decide to adapt to online education; with interactive games and programs, it is still possible to keep youth informed on how to live and play safe! Read more >>

Promotion of ag. work in Canada…

Countless amounts of businesses have been forced to shut down, or significantly reduce their workforce in the past months. Layoffs in companies and organizations across the country have skyrocketed, but there is still work to be done. The Government of Canada has recently opened a portal where advertisements in the agri-food industries are easily accessible, and individuals looking for work during these tough times can navigate the pending agricultural workforce with ease. Read more about the Government of Canada’s work here!

Rural healthcare & COVID-19…

Are the healthcare professionals all being treated the same? What are the risks of inequitable opportunity and unequal protective equipment distribution? It is clear that different regions are facing different levels of concern in terms of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, however, does that make it okay for rural workers to put themselves at risk? Read more >>

Strengthening Rural Canada…

Strengthening Rural Canada is an organization that focuses their work to identify the challenges within rural communities, and aid in forming initiatives that will aid in development for the future. Currently, the challenges that are being identified within these communities have to do with the aging population and the dwindling workforces. One main strategy in addressing these challenges will be to attracting individuals to these regions with hopes to aid in the development of a prosperous new workforce in the years to come. Read more >>

Steps forward in supporting the workforce…

With a significant vacancy in positions available in the rural workforce, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) has begun to raise awareness in regards to the looming questions regarding the workforce adjustments during COVID-19. Additionally, the CFA is calling the need to enhance the current state of government support within rural communities moving forward. Read more >>

The Future Skills Centre…

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a multi-faceted organization that explores into new sects of research, and constantly produced evolutionary initiatives to aid in the Canadian workforce. While promoting the need to adapt to the skills needed for the revitalizing workforce, the FSC addresses inclusion, building capacity, supporting local employers, and of course, supporting the workforce. See some of their current research here!

Workforce 2020: Are we there yet…

While looking back at some predictions of the shifting workforce in 2020, Brian Daly of The C-Suite examines where there is still room for improvement. As well, he will assess what the expectations of development are for the upcoming decade and different goals that should be kept fun mind moving forward. Read more >>

Agri-Food Immigration Pilot…

As of this year, the Government of Canada will be implementing the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot. The program will focus on addressing what the labour needs are for agriculturalists in Canada, and attempt to attract non-seasonal workers to settle in rural communities across the country. Of course with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic regulations will vary from their original design, but feel free to check out the pilot here!

RBC: Humans Wanted…

With technology revolutionizing the workforce in both urban and rural communities, RBC is channeling efforts to change the way we look at education and youth skill development moving forward. The Humans Wanted program initiated by RBC was designed in order to reevaluate the contemporary training and education systems, identify areas for progress in terms of adapting to future workforces, and support students in accessing and developing skills that will be beneficial in the years to come. Check out the RBC Humans Wanted information package here!

The Government of Canada’s Living Laboratories Initiative…

the Government of Canada’s Living Laboratories Initiative calls upon the need to induct multidisciplinary approaches in addressing agricultural innovations across the country. There are five labs spanning over the southern regions of Canada, each focusing on planning, co-designing, exploring and evaluating new technologies and management practices for agriculture. The bringing together of agriculturalists, and environmental scientists is a necessary step forward in terms of agri-environmental progression. Collaboration is a vital tool necessary for future development, and must become a more renowned establishment in terms of changes to federal policy that will impact rural communities. Visit the Living Laboratories webpage here!

Helping migrants build lives…

Newcomers to Canada often settle in our biggest cities, but the federal government wants to help immigrants move to fill labour gaps in smaller towns and rural communities. The small city of Winkler, Man., has been doing just that for years. Nina Pinlac-Manuguid and her husband Randolph moved there, opening a restaurant and joining the city’s success story of supporting and retaining newcomers. Tune in to this segment here!