OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 6, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, Food Processing Skills Canada released latest workforce forecasts and labour market information for the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry.
Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry is a major part of Canada’s economy contributing 2% of the GDP and employing 1.7% of the workforce, despite being only 0.3% of all business establishments nationwide. Last year, the value of Canadian food and beverage exports was estimated at $54.3B accounting for 7% of Canada’s total exports.
In 2022, this industry employed approximately 300,000 people and by 2030 that number is expected to grow to 325,000 — an increase of 9%. However, it is important to note the context for this with Canada’s aging population. It isn’t that only 25,000 new workers are needed in the next 7 years, it is that over 65,000 members of the current workforce will retire over that same period. This is in addition to the current 50,000 vacancies that the industry is experiencing.
“In total, the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry will need 142,000 new people or almost 50% of the current workforce between 2023 and 2030,” said Jennefer Griffith, Executive Director, Food Processing Skills Canada.
The labour shortage has an enormous economic impact. Previous research conducted by Food Processing Skills Canada in 2020, showed that a single unfilled position in the food and beverage manufacturing industry costs businesses as much as $190 per day in lost net revenue. Currently, in 2023, there are over 8,800 food and beverage manufacturing industry employers across Canada and losses from job vacancies could total up to a staggering $9.9M in net revenue per day or $3.6B per year.
The recent labour market analysis also predicted that labour productivity will rise by 2.7% between now and 2030 across all sectors except beverage manufacturing. This decrease of productivity is explained by the massive growth in the breweries subsector which has 300 more employer establishments today than five years ago. Beverage manufacturing is also the sector with the highest demand for new people, both in terms of numbers and percentage, with the sector requiring 19,000 new people by 2030 or 38.5% of their current workforce.
The meat and poultry processing sector is much more stable with the hiring projection only accounting for 25% of the current workforce. However, the seafood processing sector has the oldest workforce and the highest percentage demand to replace retiring workers with 28% of its current workforce expected to retire by 2030.
Food Processing Skills Canada’s research underlines the importance of New Canadians. There are not enough younger people entering the workforce to replace retiring workers, so immigration is the main driver of growth. Canada is welcoming 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 to 2023 and food and beverage manufacturing has provided opportunities for many New Canadians. Immigrants currently represent 35% of the industry’s workforce which is nearly 10% higher than in the Canadian labour force.
“Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry is a global leader in safe food production. It is time for us to also be a global leader in workforce development. We have the research capabilities, the resources, and the leadership to implement solutions and be the very best,” said Jeff Purcell, VP of Operations, Champlain Seafood, and Board Director, Food Processing Skills Canada.
To learn more about Labour Market Information for the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry and available Food Processing Skills Canada reports, please visit https://lmi.fpsc-ctac.com.
To download a summary of the most recent labour market forecast follow this link:
Food Processing Skills Canada is the food and beverage manufacturing industry’s workforce development organization. As a non-profit, located in Ottawa with representatives across Canada, the organization supports food and beverage manufacturing businesses in developing skilled and professional employees and workplace environments. The work of Food Processing Skills Canada directly and positively impacts industry talent attraction, workforce retention and employment culture. And through partnerships with industry, associations, educators, and all levels of governments in Canada, the organization has developed valuable resources for the sector including the Food Skills LibraryTM, Canadian Food Processors InstituteTM, FoodCertTM and the new Labour Market Information initiative, Rapid ResultsTM. Visit www.fpsc-ctac.com.