The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) in partnership with the Prescott-Russell Employment Services Centre (PRESC) and Groupe Convex Prescott-Russell will offer farm assistance training to support the skills development of local agricultural workers, starting in September 2021.

“Agricultural businesses are an important economic pillar for our region, and they are currently facing significant challenges related to the accessibility of skilled labour. We are therefore pleased to offer, in collaboration with our partners, a tangible solution for these businesses and the workers in the area,” said UCPR Warden Stéphane Sarrazin.

Training sessions will be offered,free of charge to anyone interested in traditional farm work, greenhouse farming, and agri-food production. The sessions will be designed to provide candidates with the essential technical and employability-enhancing skills needed to perform farm support work. Over the next few months, the three organizations will develop a curriculum and share details related to registration and delivery of training.

“This training program will give a hand up to those who are looking for meaningful local jobs that will make them and their neighbours stronger,” said Ontario Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton.

This Employment Ontario project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario through the province’s SkillsAdvance Ontario initiative. The funding amount for the project is $271,734.

“The PRESC works closely with agricultural employers in the region, and we see an urgent need to develop the workforce in this sector. This training program has been designed in collaboration with key players in the sector to quickly address this need while providing an opportunity for professional development to interested candidates,” said PRESC Executive Director Caroline Arcand.

“Through the Harvesters Cooperative, we are proud to offer our expertise in agriculture to train new candidates and allow them to find a job in one of the region’s fine agricultural enterprises,” added Simon Durand, Executive Director of Groupe Convex Prescott-Russell.