Pre-arrival immigrants who intend to work in the food and beverage processing industry in Canada will have the opportunity to come better prepared for the job market thanks to the newly developed Pre-Arrival Food Safety Management Training (PAFSMT) Program.
The online program is introduced by The Food Processing Human Resources Council (FPHRC); it targets people who have received a Confirmation of Permanent Residence and are pre-approved to immigrate to Canada. The program includes Basic Food Safety Skills (nine courses), Technical Food Safety Training (seven courses) and Canadian Employability Skills for Food Manufacturers (five courses). Those who successfully complete the courses will arrive to Canada with 12 Canadian employment and food safety related certificates. These certificates will eliminate one of the main barriers newcomers face when they come to Canada and start looking for employment – the difficult and sometimes unsuccessful process of assessment and recognition of their international credentials.
The program will also ease the employers. Mike Timani, President of Fancy Pokket Corporation, explains: “There is a labour shortage in Canada’s food (and beverage) processing industry. As a growing food business it is a challenge for us to find and retain new workers. We are always looking to recruit qualified food safety personnel, entry level and skilled workers. We spend a lot of time advertising, recruiting and training workers. The industry needs a program like this, where new Canadians are coming trained and ready to work right away.”
The Food and beverage processing is the largest manufacturing industry in Canada in terms of value of production. Over the next 3 years, it will need to hire a minimum of 23,000 workers.
“Immigrants are a substantial portion of the Canadian food and beverage processing workforce,” says Jennefer Griffith, Executive Director of FPHRC. “The Council is in a unique position to provide food safety related training through this new program which will expedite the transition of new immigrants to exciting employment opportunities within the industry.”