Workforce Projections

Planning today for the future of Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry workforce and the increasing global demand for food.

Workforce Projections

By 2050, the global food demand is expected to increase by roughly 70% which places significant pressure on the Canadian industry to grow production. Canadian food and beverage businesses may currently be the top manufacturing sector employer in the country, but by 2025 up to 65,000 new people will be required to fill employment needs related to increased production and workforce evolution. Demand for skilled individuals has never been so important to Canadian food and beverage businesses. Talent attraction, recruitment and retention, and inclusive and diverse workplaces have become industry priorities.

Workers Needed

Food and Beverage Manufacturing Business Sizes

Retirement Eligibility

What are the labour challenges?

Across Canada, 20% of the workforce is aged between 55 and 64 and will be eligible for retirement within the next 10 years. This segment of the workforce will account for up to a forecasted 44,000 employment vacancies by 2025. There are several geographical barriers which affect the food and beverage industry. For many businesses operating in rural locations, it can be difficult to recruit individuals willing to relocate for a job.

There are several geographical barriers which affect the food and beverage industry. For many businesses operating out of rural locations, it can be difficult to recruit individuals willing to re-locate for a job. Canada’s meat and Atlantic seafood processors in particular are experiencing unique challenges with recruiting and retaining qualified employees for foundational roles and skilled positions from slaughter to finished product. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been an asset to the industry in this regard but does not provide a long-term, sustainable workforce solution.

What are the labour challenges?

Across Canada, 20% of the workforce is aged between 55 and 64 and will be eligible for retirement within the next 10 years. This segment of the workforce will account for up to a forecasted 45,000 employment vacancies by 2025. There are several geographical barriers which affect the food and beverage industry. For many businesses operating in rural locations, it can be difficult to recruit individuals willing to relocate for a job.

Canada’s meat and Atlantic seafood processors in particular, are experiencing unique challenges with recruiting and retaining qualified employees for foundational roles and skilled positions from slaughter to finished product. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been an asset to the industry in this regard but does not provide a long-term, sustainable workforce solution.
There are several geographical barriers which affect the food and beverage industry. For many businesses operating out of rural locations, it can be difficult to recruit individuals willing to re-locate for a job. Canada’s meat and Atlantic seafood processors in particular are experiencing unique challenges with recruiting and retaining qualified employees for foundational roles and skilled positions from slaughter to finished product. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been an asset to the industry in this regard but does not provide a long-term, sustainable workforce solution.

What are the HR challenges?

By far the largest HR challenge in Canada is recruiting and retaining skilled workers. Recruitment strategies must be targeted to fit not only specific demographics and generations but differences in regional population densities and geographic locations. Finding people, especially in rural locations, can be difficult. With 25% of food and beverage processing businesses located in these regions, understanding labour market tightness and solutions to attracting and retaining individuals is essential.

Research has emphasized that the organizational culture of a business is important for recruitment and retention. Modern workplace culture includes flexible job benefits and supports, diversity and inclusion strategies, a corporate social responsibility policy and workplace engagement strategies. Different generations also have varying motivations which must be valued, especially when up to five generations may comprise a workplace team.

To meet increasing production requirements there will be a greater emphasis placed on implementing automation and new technology. It is important for employers to train and upskill employees as a commitment to lifelong learning – the future will demand this.

The industry has also recognized that new Canadians are skilled and eager to start a job in Canada. Greater alignment with new Canadian resources and support networks is central to engaging with this demographics.

To meet increasing production requirements there will be a greater emphasis placed on implementing automation and new technology. It is important for employers to train and upskill employees as a commitment to lifelong learning – the future will demand this.