July 6th, 2015
Many people do not realize that the food processing industry is an integral aspect of the Canadian economy. The food processing industry in Canada is larger than most would imagine, and it naturally requires a substantial number of staffing to operate efficiently. Every food processor—large and small—benefits from the labour of young workers in their industries. But how can you pay for these workers? Is there any funding available for hiring in the food-processing sector?
Fortunately, there is a variety of government funding options for food processors. This article investigates Career Focus, which is part ofCanada’s Youth Employment Strategy. Career Focus provides funding for local, regional, and national organizations to aid in the introduction of young workers to the food-processing sector. Career Focus allows employers to design and deliver a series of activities that will inform their career choices while developing their skills in the labour market.
What is the focus of Career Focus?
Career Focus aims to raise the total number of qualified workers available to Canada’s food processing sector. The food processing labour market is always changing, and the Career Focus program helps transition skilled young workers to match this reality.
The federal government recognizes the importance of investing in these skilled workers who will provide the future labour needs in the sector.
Who can apply for funding?
Eligible companies include almost any Canadian company with a focus on food manufacturing. The provided work needs to reach a minimum of thirty hours a week, for a period lasting at least three months.
Applicants can be for profit or not for profit organizations of all sizes.
Proposed projects for Career Focus must involve at least eight youth participants. Exceptions are made for rural areas in Canada, where areas with a population below 1000 people or a density of less than 400 individuals per square kilometre justifies a reduced number of participants. Applicants need to be sure that their justifications are strong enough to warrant having fewer than eight participants.
Which participants are eligible?
Career focus defines ‘youth’ as individuals between the ages of 15 and 30. Proposed applicants must be Canadian citizens, permanent citizens, or individuals with granted refugee status in the country. These individuals cannot be receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, and they must be legally allowed to work in the provincial or territorial area they are hired within.
These employees must also be new hires to the company in question. Hiring people at this age helps them seamlessly transition from their school life to the workplace.
What funding is available for hiring in the food process sector?
Career Focus covers up to 80% of costs tied to the operation and delivery of approved activities for successful applicants. The company is required to deliver the remaining 20% to fund their initiative.
The following list includes common costs incurred by successful recipients:
Overhead costs, including administrative costs
- Material and supply cost
- Hospitality cost
- Wages and mandatory employment-related costs, or MERCs
- Printing and communication costs
- Disability supports
- Travel costs
- Capital costs
- Any other applicable costs associated with the proposed project
Funding caps at $20,000 for any one participant, regardless of their employment duration: this number factors in overhead and participant costs.
Applicants benefiting from the Career Focus program build on their level of studies to include work experiences related to their desired fields. Eligible companies benefit from this expertise while helping build the sector’s future. If you are interested in applying for funding in the food-processing sector, get in touch with us at INAC today. We can help you make the most of your application. Be sure to check out INAC’s bulletin for more information on this program by clicking here.