METHODOLOGY

LMI Research & Data Collection

Canada’s meat and Atlantic seafood processors have made numerous attempts to address their labour market challenges with limited success. Given the processing industry’s current and growing labour challenges, FPSC’s LMI initiative is taking a fresh, new and in-depth approach to understanding the issues and proposing solutions.

This initiative will benefit a number of stakeholders

  • Canada’s meat and Atlantic Canada’s seafood sectors in understanding workforce challenges and proposing short, mid and long-term solutions.
  • Indigenous and First Nations communities in determining employment potential and issues to be addressed.
  • International workers, new Canadians and local communities in determining employment potential and issues to be addressed.
  • Federal and provincial governments in identifying current policy and program barriers and recommending new and improved supportive strategies.
  • Canadian communities in leveraging new job creation, business development opportunities and the related positive impacts to the local economy.

FPSC has engaged experts in research and LMI collection and data analysis to support the initiative. A National Advisory Committee of industry leadership has also been established for guidance in addition to a working committee comprised of representatives from unions, governments (including labour and immigration departments) and related stakeholder groups. All committee members will support outreach, communications and real-time information sharing.

A comprehensive four- theme approach will frame the study.

A comprehensive four- theme approach will frame the study

Labour force profiles will be developed to describe employers, workers, labour sources including potential workers and worker demand and supply conditions. The profiles will also identify local labour market conditions and HR challenges encountered by employers. Each profile will characterize special conditions such as seasonal employment for the seafood processing industry, strenuous working conditions in the meat processing industry, or limited labour force availability in remote or rural locations. The profiles will describe how these conditions affect recruiting, retention and skills development in the sectors. This work will culminate with one profile for the seafood sector and one profile for the meat sector each providing a deep assessment at the national and provincial levels and within 15 local labour force regions across Canada.

Labour Force Profiles

Labour force profiles will be developed to describe employers, workers, labour sources including potential workers and worker demand and supply conditions. The profiles will also identify local labour market conditions and HR challenges encountered by employers. Each profile will characterize special conditions such as seasonal employment for the seafood processing industry, strenuous working conditions in the meat processing industry, or limited labour force availability in remote or rural locations. The profiles will describe how these conditions affect recruiting, retention and skills development in the sectors. This work will culminate with one profile for the seafood sector and one profile for the meat sector each providing a deep assessment at the national and provincial levels and within 15 local labour force regions across Canada.

Labour Source Analysis

The labour source analysis will describe the sources of workers available to employers with special attention to:

 

  • Labour availability within the local catchment recruiting areas of meat and Atlantic seafood plants (local labour for each plant, including rural and remote plants)
  • Access to Indigenous People and First Nations communities within commuting proximity to plants
  • International sources of labour
  • Other sources of labour accessed by employers such as workers on employment insurance, younger workers and out-of-region workers

 

A specific focus will be directed to international workers within this theme given the reliance of meat and seafood processing businesses on access to international people. Additionally, past and current immigration policies have impacted the ability of employers to recruit, settle, train, employ and retain international workers within different immigrant streams i.e. temporary foreign workers and immigrant streams managed nationally and provincially. An in-depth analysis will be conducted to describe the advantages and disadvantages of government programs such as the temporary foreign worker program, employment and skills programs, and grants and provincial immigration programs. This analysis will also explore employer programs and government-funded programs offered by agencies and non-government organizations.

Occupational Analysis, Worker Compensation and Demand Projection

For this analysis, the top 10-12 occupations in demand in the meat and Atlantic seafood sectors will be identified. For these occupations, estimates of total employment, total demand (including unmet demand for vacant positions or desired expansions that require workers), compensation levels, benefits, and occupational challenges for recruiting, retention, and skills training will be assessed. The analysis will collect and report information on the labour force profiles and labour source themes for each of the 10-12 occupations and will include outputs such as career pathways that describe career progression for workers, skills and experience requirements for entrance and advancement, and compensation ranges for occupations. The occupational analysis will also include a forecast of demand for both sectors. These forecast are expected to provide detail on the future demand for the top 10-12 occupations, employment demand by commodity or type of plant, and demand within geographic areas across Canada.

HR Best Practices & Synthesis of Research Findings and Communications

Synthesizing research results, data collection and learnings will drive a laser focus on the key labour issues and potential solutions delivered by this study. This theme will specifically identify solutions that the government can implement (e.g. foreign worker programs), solutions that industry has successfully implemented, and the role of other solutions such as the use of new technology and automation. HR best practices will cover best practices in skills training, recruitment, retention, use of technology, and other HR practices. The study will also cover recommendations for government, the industry, communities, and other stakeholders.