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New Ontario college program on ag equipment to help fill labour gap

Students will learn skilled trades in high demand areas such as spraying and fertilizing operations, custom tillage and harvesting operations.


October 12, 2020
By Drainage Contractor

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Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ont. will launch a pilot program to expand the equipment training opportunities for current farm sector employees and better prepare students interested in careers in agriculture to work on farms.

Students will learn skilled trades in high demand areas such as spraying and fertilizing operations, custom tillage and harvesting operations.

The governments of Canada and Ontario will allocate more than $180,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership for the development of the new program at Conestoga College that will provide education and training in the latest agricultural equipment.

“We greatly appreciate the province’s investment in this important initiative,” said John Tibbits, president for Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. “As well as addressing critical workforce needs in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector, the Agriculture Equipment Operator training initiative will provide opportunities for local residents to develop in-demand skills, advance their careers and contribute to the success and well-being of the community.”

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“Agriculture is by far the biggest single industry in Brant and Brantford,” said Will Bouma, MPP for Brantford-Brant. “To see the Governments of Ontario and Canada come together to support the development of a new college program to train in the latest agricultural equipment can only strengthen our goal of food self-sufficiency in Ontario.”

The project is one of several recently approved by the federal and provincial governments to help primary agriculture, food processing companies and food retailers to recruit and train workers who are critical in keeping the province’s food supply functioning.