Canada: Training supports transition for agricultural workers

As many as 30 people will get skills training to retrain them for jobs as landscape and horticulture technicians in the greenhouse sector.

This is a new Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project from the Government of British Columbia. It is intended for immigrants and agricultural workers whose employment was affected by flooding in the Fraser Valley in the fall.

“Extreme weather events have been challenging for many agricultural workers in B.C.,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This new CEP project delivers skills training and certificate courses to ensure participants can become qualified for other agri-related employment.”

The Province provides more than $500,000 to Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) in Surrey to deliver skills and certification courses in two intakes of its Agricultural Workforce Transition Greenhouse Technician Training project.

Participants will receive 16 weeks of occupational and employability skills training, four weeks of local work experience, and two weeks of follow-up support to help their job search.

Occupational training includes an introduction to B.C.’s agriculture and horticulture industry, greenhouse crop production, hydroponics environmental control and monitoring, irrigation systems for greenhouses, agri-business principles, pest management, pesticide application, and occupational health and safety.

“From vegetables and flowers to trees and shrubs, local greenhouse growers produce many of the vibrant plants enjoyed by people, pollinators, and animals in our province,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “I’m excited to welcome program participants, including those transitioning from fur farming, into their new careers in the greenhouse sector and wish them success in their new careers in agriculture.”

Participants will also receive certification training in Emergency First Aid Level 1, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, forklift operating, ladder safety and fall protection, and Foodsafe.

“This project creatively addresses community and labor market needs in a sector that has been experiencing chronic workforce shortages,” said Raj Hundal, director of employment programs and planning, Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society. “It also provides displaced mink-farm workers, immigrants, and agricultural workers an opportunity to build and gain new skills so they can remain in the agriculture and horticulture industry. It’s a win-win situation.”

Full-time, group-based classroom learning for this project starts on Monday, April 25, 2022. Project activities run until Feb. 3, 2023. Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC center.

“This new CEP project is an example of what we’re doing to ensure that eligible individuals who require retraining are supported to access the skills, courses, and work experience they need to succeed,” said Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers. “I wish everyone enrolled in this exciting project all the best in their studies.”

For more information:
Government for British Columbia
www.news.gov.bc.ca 


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