Bridging Skill Gaps in Canadian Agriculture

Employers in Canada's farming and food sector focus on the skills they need in their workforce. asked employers about the skills they need and what's lacking in the workforce.

The Canadian Skills Survey report gives useful info, data, and trends to help with training in the industry.

The survey found that bosses think "Problem-Solving and Decision-Making" are the most essential skills for everyone. Next are "Organization and Planning Skills" and "Teamwork." But they say there needs to be more problem-solving and decision-making skills, especially for new workers. Only 21% think new graduates have the skills they need, but 67% are happy with the skills demonstrated by more experienced new hires.

This shows that soft skills are super important for all workers, especially those just starting out. Bosses say they're keen on online soft skills training for their staff.  Change management and speaking skills are most valuable for employees and new hires.

The survey also examined skills needed for success, such as data, animal, and food science. It found that people need more knowledge in sustainability, agronomy, and precision agriculture. 

Thirty-eight of organizations said they required agronomy or precision agriculture knowledge, and ranked the following according to importance:

  • 86.96 % Crop consulting
  • 82.96 % Soil science
  • 47.83 % Chemical science
  • 30.43 % Biotechnology
  • 21.74 % Plant breeding and genetics

When asked if employees within their organization required Data science and digital agriculture knowledge, 80 % of respondents said no. When asked which of the following topics regarding science and digital agriculture would be useful to new employees for professional development, categories were rated as follows:

  • 89.47 % - Data analytics
  • 73.68 % – Microsoft Excel
  • 42.11 % Statistics
  • 36.84 % Big data
  • 36.84 % - Data visualization
  • 26.32 % – Data storytelling
  • 21.05 % ArcGIS
  • 10.53 % Python
  • 10.53 % System R
  • 5.26 % SQL
  • 5.26 % Tableau

Survey respondents were also asked if their employees require sustainability knowledge of which only 26.53 % said yes.

The following sustainability topics were rated for their usefulness:

  • 70.83 % Understanding regulations
  • 66.67 % Supply chain
  • 54.17 % Water
  • 50 % Food production
  • 45.83 % Carbon credits
  • 45.83 % Animal production
  • 45.83 % Pest control
  • 33.33 % Renewable energy
  • 25.00 % urban agriculture

The survey report provides detailed information on each topic and what skills are needed for different jobs, such as trades, production, managers, and bosses. Download the full report for free. 

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