Survey Identifies Challenges in Attracting, Training, Retaining Pig Farm Workers

CANADA - A survey of independent pork producers has identified a range of challenges they face in attracting, training and retaining labour, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 25 April 2016
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In an effort to assess the challenges being faced in attracting and retaining workers and identify solutions, Manitoba Pork conducted a survey of independent pork producers last year.

Janice Goldsborough, the Human Resources and Training Coordinator with Manitoba Pork, says producers were asked about how they are finding workers, what problems they face in retaining workers, their experiences with the Foreign Worker Program, the competitiveness of salaries, training and if they have any other concerns.

Janice Goldsborough-Manitoba Pork:

Trying to find local people, that's where most of the producers wanted to start.

They wanted to stay with the Canadian workers, stay with Manitoba workers so trying to find areas where they could recruit, whether it was locally or within the province, that was probably one of their biggest challenges.

Then, if they had to go outside of Manitoba, where to look and then navigating if they had to look at the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, going through that system because that's quite a complicated long drawn out process.

That turned out to be a big challenge for a lot of the producers who had to access that system.
In terms of the employees that they had, looking at their training needs.

We do a lot of training in conjunction with Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, looking at the apprenticeship program that they had, were their employees going through it and, if not, why.

Then they also identified other areas where there was challenges when it came to training such as management training, such as training in communication, diversity training, cultural awareness training.

Those were probably the biggest areas that were identified by most of the independent producers.

Goldsborough says information gathered through the survey is being used to develop resources that will help producers attract, train and retain workers.

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