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Ontario offering free training for food and beverage careers


February 4, 2022
By Bakers Journal

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Toronto – The Ontario government is providing almost $1 million to Food and Beverage Ontario to provide 600 job seekers with training, mentorship and job placements with local employers in baking, food science and food production and processing.

Workers in food processing, transportation and warehousing, where job postings have nearly doubled over the past year and a fifth of the workforce is preparing to retire, can earn upwards of $25 an hour, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development said in a news release.

Food and Beverage Ontario’s CareersNOW! program will help address this labour shortage by delivering:

  • Free online training and coaching on topics such as workplace safety, employee-employer relations, and safe food handling, to prepare people for jobs in food and beverage manufacturing.
  • A regional pilot program with the City of Brampton to assess challenges and opportunities in connecting local job seekers with employers, focusing on underrepresented groups in the industry, including women and people of colour.
  • A virtual career mentorship series delivered in partnership with Ontario colleges and universities that provides students with opportunities to connect with professionals in the industry and explore education and career pathways.
  • Online job fairs to connect job seekers with open positions.

“With this important investment, Food and Beverage Ontario has kickstarted a critical workforce development program for Ontario’s food and beverage processors, and the participation by employers and job seekers has been extraordinary,” said Chris Conway, CEO of Food and Beverage Ontario.

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“We know that Ontario’s food and beverage processors have great jobs to offer and we appreciate the role these processors play, every day, as an important link in Ontario’s food supply chain,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

This initiative is part of Ontario’s Skills Development Fund.