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Industry sells workers on ag jobs

Online careers posting board used to list job vacancies.
Workers at the Rite Way Manufacturing plant in Regina, Sask., were present during the announcement of the high-tech Careers in Ag Mobile Skills Lab that will begin touring the province this summer.

WESTERN PRODUCER — According to a statistic from the Canada Ag Human Resources Council, there will be 85,000 job vacancies across the entire spectrum of agriculture-related industries by 2030, if current employment trends hold true.

“That’s why we need to address this challenge right now and promote and attract people into careers in the industry,” says Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada Association president Donna Boyd.

To help the ag equipment manufacturers that AMC represents, it established an online careers posting board that any of its members can use to list their job vacancies.

“Our members are able to post their jobs on the Careers in Ag website ( free of charge,” says Boyd.

“And we have an HR specialist that works with our members to try and attract the talent they need.”

Aside from equipment manufacturers, everyone from large farmers to equipment dealerships have been feeling the staff shortage lately. Boyd thinks it’s due in large part to a lack of awareness by the general public about what opportunities exist across the entire ag sector, including equipment manufacturing.

“We meet lots of people in our travels that don’t know anything about ag. They hadn’t considered a career in manufacturing, in part, I think, because of some of the stigma manufacturing has carried with it. We’re trying to debunk those myths about what a career in manufacturing is in 2024. It’s not dark, dirty and dingy. It’s very much innovation and tech forward.”

To promote awareness of what opportunities exist, AMC has been partnering with schools, post-secondary institutions and government to help get the word out, as well as launch the Careers in Ag Mobile Skills Lab, which is set to tour Saskatchewan this summer. The mobile lab will also highlight careers in agricultural sectors other than equipment manufacturing.

“It’s an information campaign to inform people about the wide variety of careers that are available in our sector in all different domains,” says Boyd.

“Whether it’s finance, marketing and communications, IT, engineering, there’s a career for you in ag.”

Ag equipment manufacturing needs people with many of the same skills needed in almost all businesses, so those with a variety of experiences can likely find an opportunity in ag.

As an example, Boyd talked about someone who had been working for high-end retailer Louis Vuitton in the luxury bag division but who is now a brand manager at a short-line equipment manufacturer.

“The multitude of opportunities in the sector right now is just truly unlimited,” Boyd says.