CEDA Champions the Equipment Industry in Labour Shortage Discussions

Beverly Written by Beverly Leavitt May 10, 2023 Human Resources

A set of wrenches on a blue background.

Earlier this month, CEDA asked for your participation in a survey for the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC). The survey resulted from our advisory role on the board, driven by our board members Scott Weagant and Andy Svetec, who represent our membership. 

Why Now?

In the post-pandemic era, the CAHRC is looking to grasp the realities of the current ag labour market and the projected labour force through research while looking forward to solutions for the labour force issues between now and 2027. The last survey was completed in 2018.

“The Canadian agriculture industry has been experiencing a growing labour shortage that is turning into a labour crisis. The update to this research will provide a measurement of what that labour shortage is currently and forecast what the future holds,” said Jennifer Wright, CAHRC’s Executive Director. 

CAHRC has commissioned the Conference Board of Canada to study the state of Human Resources within the Canadian Agricultural industry. They’re collecting information about the sub-sectors of the ag industry as defined by Statistics Canada through: 

  • Surveys 
  • Interviews 
  • Historical data 
  • Industry and government stakeholders 

“What’s become clear is that the equipment industry is under-represented in the eyes of Statistics Canada, who have us under sectors 7312 ‘Heavy Equipment Technicians’ and 7511 ‘Transport Truck Drivers.’ With more representation in these conversations, we're hopeful we’ll start to see our industry recognized as a stand-alone sector,” shares Scott Weagant. 

He continues, “It’s only the first time we’ve been invited to participate in this event, demonstrating that CAHRC recognizes that the farming industry is incomplete without our voices. However, the survey is heavily skewed toward producers, proving we’re not as represented as we should be.”

CEDA’s Role 

We’re keenly aware of the labour shortages that have affected our members and have provided some concrete paths forward, including hiring tips and tricks, training and apprenticeship opportunities, and partnerships with organizations like Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, which aims to inspire youth to join the ag workforce. 

Our role with the CAHRC will continue that stewardship and work on: 

  • Scoping ongoing employment needs 
  • Quantifying chronic shortages facing farm businesses 
  • Understanding farm operator’s evolving needs 
  • Developing policies and programs to address and reduce shortages 
  • Reducing turnover and improving employee work satisfaction  

How You Can Participate

Firstly, thank you for sharing your time and thoughts if you took the survey! It’s important to hear directly from you so CAHRC understands the realities of the workforce in our membership. 

Next, you can continue to share your feedback with us. We’re continually looking for ways to support you with your dealership, which includes hiring, continuing education, and progression planning

Reach out and share your experiences with us!