The objective of this project is to address the limited English language literacy and proficiency skills for New Canadians and the immigrant workforce in the Ontario food and beverage industry.

The SAW Language Stream project provides Ontario food and beverage companies and employees with skills training opportunities through 10 online courses in 6 different languages!

This will improve workplace and food safety, support employees at risk of displacement, and support communities and wage earners hardest hit by COVID 19.

Increased food safety and workplace safety regulations coupled with new COVID-19 protocols require employers to upskill and reskill their workforce rapidly. With a large immigrant workforce, food sector employers' challenge is ensuring non-English speaking workers fully comprehend their job requirements, safety information, and changes to protocols. Lack of comprehension makes immigrant workers at risk of being furloughed due to the extra effort required to keep them informed. This is a sectoral issue across Canada that is especially prevalent in Ontario, home to the largest number of sector businesses with 2,530 (35%) and a destination for immigrants and New Canadians.

How does this impact Ontario's business? Statistics Canada indicates that one in three workers across the country will be born outside of Canada by 2031. Employers have turned to New Canadians and immigrants to fill their workforce needs and to meet production demands. We have a diverse industry with a large immigrant workforce, 31% to be exact, compared to only 23% of the overall labour force in Canada. The highest proportion of immigrants are working in Meat Product Manufacturing (43%), Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing (43%) and Other Food Manufacturing (42%).

For more information, please visit the program website


10 e-learning courses at NO COST:

  1. COVID-19 and Food Processing
  2. Digital Technology
  3. Good Manufacturing Practices – GMPs
  4. Allergens Level 1
  5. Workplace Industrial Safety
  6. Lock Out Tag Out
  7. Sanitation Level I
  8. Basic SOPs and SSOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)
  9. Oral Communication
  10. Canadian Workplace Cultures

The six languages are:

  1. French
  2. Tagalog
  3. Punjabi
  4. Spanish
  5. Mandarin
  6. Russian

Technology Support:

  1. Chromebooks to support employee learning at home
  2. Tech support
  3. Onboarding and Debriefing Sessions

Background Information