Funding to boost NL’s aquaculture labor market
The Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is investing around $500,000 (C$588,000) to boost employment opportunities in the province’s aquaculture industry.
The fund, which was disbursed to the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA), will be used to develop “labor market information tools and products.”
“The development of labor market tools specific to aquaculture will further help build the industry and create the jobs needed to support a bright future for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, who announced the grant at NAIA’s Cold Harvest Conference and Trade Show in St John’s on September 26.
The funding comes at a time when the Canadian aquaculture industry is suffering from a labor shortage. Latest data from the Canadian Agriculture Human Resources Council indicates that there is an 11-percent vacancy rate in the industry and millions of dollars in lost revenue because of the labor shortage.
The initiative builds on over $396,000 provided to NAIA to support the development of an Aquaculture Recruitment and Retention Strategy.
“Through this initiative with the provincial government we will be positioned to succeed in providing additional year-round employment to dedicated farmers of the sea in rural coastal communities,” said Mark Lane, Executive Director, NAIA.