British Columbia Agrifood-Seafood Labour Roundtable

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British Columbia seafood producers met earlier this year with provincial and federal governments to discuss skilled-labour and human-resource planning. The roundtables, co-hosted with industry associations and employers, aim to stimulate discussion, and create awareness about how sectors can access skilled labour and satisfy human-resource requirements.

Roundtable participants were invited to share information and discuss the unique challenges faced by the agrifood seafood sector, specifically related to recruiting and training a qualified workforce, the promotion of export-ready products internationally and identifying opportunities for growth.

British Columbia has reached a tipping point with fewer young people entering the workforce than older workers leaving it. A reduced workforce, combined with continued economic growth place significant pressure on key sectors to find innovative solutions to address skills shortages.

British Columbia has one of the most diverse agrifoods industries in Canada, producing more than 200 agriculture commodities and 100 seafood species, including a sustainable aquaculture sector that produces salmon, shellfish and other products enjoyed locally and around the globe. Close to 3,400 British Columbians work directly in the primary seafood sector, many in rural and remote communities.

BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint program is designed to help British Columbians get the skills they need to be first in line for job openings.

British Columbia Seafood Facts:

Over 75% of British Columbia seafood is destined for export.

In 2014, the wholesale value of B.C. seafood products grew to $1.44 billion.

British Columbia exported 151,000 tonnes of seafood valued at $981 million in 2014.

Atlantic salmon ($255 million), crabs ($102 million) and sockeye salmon ($90 million) were the top three export products, followed by shrimp and prawns, geoduck clams and hake.

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source: Province of British Columbia