July 27th, 2015
The Canadian agricultural industry continues to grow, and finding new workers for the field is becoming ever more important. As the baby-boomer generation starts to retire, more gaps in the field are starting to turn up and more job positions need to be filled.
It’s important to fill those gaps with educated and suitable workers, making it crucial to generate interest in the food-processing field in Canadian youth. As one of the leading countries for agriculture exports, it’s important to have a capable work force that can keep our country prosperous. This is where the Youth Employment Program (IRAP-Y) helps the Canadian food processing industry.
IRAP-Y: Industrial Research Assistance Program – Youth Employment Program
IRAP-Y is a Canadian program designed to help 15-30 year old Canadians get the career information they need based on their interests to develop skills in that field while helping them find good jobs that will employ them in the long term.
As a youth subdivision of IRAP, this program helps the younger generation find its groove with a career in agriculture with incentives to get them involved. Youth view post-secondary programs as career investments above all else today, which makes the incentive component incredibly important.
As a rapidly growing industry, the food-processing field is constantly looking for improvements in technology. One of the ways IRAP-Y helps with this is to provide funding for 15-30 year olds to come on board and help with research projects.
IRAP-Y provides 50% of funding (up to CAD $15 000) for companies to hire recent graduates entering the food processing in order to assist in research and development related projects. The only restriction on this funding is that the companies must have less than 500 employees. Most of the larger businesses would be able to handle the additional costs for research themselves, so IRAP-Y looks to help less profitable organizations.
Generate Interest in the Field
Another important topic that IRAP-Y covers is promoting interest within the food-processing field. Many of today’s youth age group may not have even heard of the food processing industry if they didn’t grow up in an agricultural hub, so it’s important to show them the option that exist to them.
Additionally, by providing this extra funding to employers, it’s going to make new graduates more likely to apply if they understand the profitability of this opportunity.
We are a long way from having completely automated technology running all food operations, so Canada has a constant need for food processing workers. By providing additional information to these graduates, IRAP-Y can promote interest within the field and make the jobs more attractive to those entering the work field.
We live in a rapidly changing agricultural market with constant changes and new additions. It’s important to have an up-to-date work force, and one that is going to maintain the high standards the Canadian agricultural sector holds. IRAP-Y is taking a step in the right direction by generating interest in food processing for younger age groups, and exists to maintain the high standards this great country holds.