Skip to Main Content

Web Archive

print small medium large 

May 27, 2004
For immediate release

Proposals to Make Farm Work a Trade Being Discussed

Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture & Forestry

Prince Edward Island has taken steps to become the first province in Canada to designate farm work as a trade under the apprenticeship program. The Prince Edward Island Apprenticeship Board has scheduled public meetings during the first week of June to hear from the public on the proposal developed by the Agriculture Human Resources Development Council. The Council has just completed a study on how to meet the growing needs for skilled and experienced farm workers.

Funding for the study was provided by the Canada/Prince Edward Island Labour Market Development Agreement which is co-managed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and the provincial Department of Development and Technology.

“Producers across the province have indicated strong support for more training for farm workers,” said Angela Campbell, executive director of the Council. “Research has shown that producers believe it would help them to attract and retain farm workers, and help improve the overall effectiveness of the farm operation.”

The Council has also conducted extensive research on the skills needed in the industry and the best approach to meeting the requirements through a combination of formal and on-the-job training.

“The challenges of producing safe, high quality food products are becoming much more significant,” said Kevin MacAdam, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Forestry. “Meeting those challenges demands the application of new skills, knowledge and technologies, and that will enable us to remain competitive and innovative.”

Campbell said that producers contacted during the course of research said making farm work a trade would give a greater pool of workers to draw on, and that more skilled and experienced workers would add to the quality of food production in Prince Edward Island. She said she also recognizes that some producers have questions about the proposal. These have been identified during the research phase and will be addressed by the Apprenticeship Board, she said.

Those who are interested in making a submission are invited to contact the chair of the Apprenticeship Board at the Department of Education, PO Box 2000 in Charlottetown, or by calling 368-4460.

Media Contact: Wayne MacKinnon
back to top