The PEI Agriculture Sector Council is a non-profit organization which provides a vehicle for effective industry participation in identifying and addressing human resource issues in the agriculture industry.
Our food supply system is an essential service. The provincial and federal governments are committed to ensuring agriculture can continue at this time and that all needed support services are available for our food producers.
The provincial government website states:
Government’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of Islanders and limiting the spread of COVID19 in our province. Health officials recognize that essential services, including food production, will have to be maintained even under the current restrictions. Your government is taking steps that will allow for these services to be delivered.
For more information, click here.
Hiring needs in the agriculture sector across the province
Typically, there are about 4,700 jobs directly related to agriculture on PEI. Our industry is changing. A lot more crops are growing longer into the season. More warehouses are being constructed, which extends the work season and means jobs can extend for a longer period of time.
Potato farmers look to hire more people in March and April. In the summer, 200 to 300 jobs could be listed, and there are still a lot of jobs available in the fall and winter. It’s more than labour jobs. There are a lot of high-end jobs too, like management and Human Resources.
Due to COVID- 19, some farms have their hiring on hold and are just continuing to work with their present staff as a precaution. But some employers are in the process of hiring and just making sure that everyone is social distancing, providing extra wash stations and extra gear.
We have been reaching out to the hotel industry, trying to connect laid off workers to available agriculture jobs posted on our site. For a list of current job openings, click here.
The Farm Team Bursary has also been increased from $500 to $1,000 for grades 10 & 11 students and from $1,000 to $2,000 for grade 12, university and college students.
A new protocol is being put in place for agriculture employers to hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW). The government is still working on the details and at this time, farmers are trying to see what the process will look like.
For more information on A Guidance Document for Farms Employing Temporary Foreign Workers, click here.
Any questions about careers in agriculture, call the PEI Agriculture Sector Council at 902-892-1091. Visit www.peiagsc.ca.
For a list of current agriculture job openings, click here.
Visit the Facebook page or to check out videos about the roles and responsibilities when it comes to working in this sector.
submitted by Laurie Loane, Executive Director, PEI Agriculture Sector Council