Frequently Asked Questions

Answers on the most asked questions about Labour Market Information for the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

Q. What is Labour Market Information and who does it benefit?

Labour Market Information (LMI) provides deep insights into market conditions and economic trends by analyzing data on the supply and demand of labour. The labour market in any industry is constantly changing, and the information provided by LMI offers a benchmark against which present and future workforce data can be gauged. This information is necessary for industry growth and success, especially when labour is the number one priority as it is in the food and beverage manufacturing sector. Labour market information is used to predict significant labour and skills gaps providing employers and stakeholders with important workforce information, and governments with the right data to develop meaningful public policy and programs.

Q. What are the demographics of Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing workforce?

The food and beverage manufacturing industry employs 280,000+ Canadians across five generations. As a whole, most sub-sectors have a higher percentage of male workers than female, except for ‘bakery and tortilla manufacturing’ and ‘sugar and confectionary product manufacturing’. The majority (65%) of the workforce is aged between 25 and 54. A large section of the workforce (31%) consists of new Canadians, with most of them having arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2010, while more recent new Canadians (those who arrived in the five years since 2011) make up five per cent of the workforce. Considering around 22% of Canadians were born in foreign countries, the percentage of New Canadian workers in the industry is larger than the percentage of New Canadians living in Canada. Indigenous People make up about 3% of the workforce, though they make up 11% of the seafood packaging and processing workforce. 11% is a significant percentage considering around 4.9% of Canadians reported an Indigenous identity in 2016. Visible minorities account for just over one-quarter (28%) of the food and beverage processing workforce, slightly higher than the proportion working in the overall manufacturing sector (23%). Overall, the majority of workers in the industry are labourers (56%) with other positions including supervisors, process control, machine operators, industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers, testers and graders.

Q. Is there a shortage of jobs in the food & beverage manufacturing industry?

Yes. The food and beverage manufacturing industry has a vacancy rate of 3.8 percent which is greater than the vacancy rate of the manufacturing industry as a whole (3%). A large section of the workforce (24%) is made up of people eligible for retirement in the next 10 years, and since the industry is constantly growing, skilled workers are in high demand. These anticipated labour gaps are why talent attraction and retention initiatives are so important to employers in the industry. It is expected that a higher demand for specialty products will require increased automation in the work environment and because of this, employers will need people who have the skills and knowledge to succeed in the industry.

Q. What is being done to address the labour shortage?

Labour market tightness is one of the largest factors affecting Canada’s food and beverage processing industry’s growth. Resolving hiring and recruitment barriers which give employers access to skilled workers, in addition to solving retention issued through updated human resource best management practices is critical. Food Processing Skills Canada has developed initiatives such as Succeeding at Work , Skills Training Atlantic Canada, Food Safety Employment Readiness Program , as well as certification and accreditation to address anticipated labour gaps and new training requirements. These initiatives are professionalizing the food and beverage processing industry by developing a workforce that is skilled and competent.

Q. What are some demographics to target when recruiting for the food and beverage manufacturing industry?

In February of 2020, Food Processing Skills Canada released “Your Next Worker: Everything You Need to Know”, a report analyzing four different population segments facing labour market challenges that have the potential to be engaged by the food and beverage manufacturing sector. These segments – youth, Indigenous People, recent immigrants and unemployed individuals, or those who have been unemployed at least twice within the last 5 years, were shown to be more willing than the rest of the Canadian population to take a job in the industry. In particular, the willingness of recent immigrants and Indigenous people has emerged as two promising segments for food and beverage career development.