Canada’s agriculture industry is booming, offering numerous opportunities for farm workers. Whether you’re a Canadian citizen or an international candidate, the Canada Agriculture Worker Program provides positions approved through the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This program ensures a steady labor force for farms while also offering jobs to foreign nationals. In this in-depth article, we will show you the various farm worker jobs available in Canada and provide all the details you need to secure one of these positions.
The Canada Agriculture Worker Program
The Agriculture Worker Program consists of two streams – the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agriculture Stream. In this article, we will focus on the Agriculture Stream, which allows employers to hire foreign farm workers on a temporary basis from any country globally.
Most farm worker contracts through the Agriculture Stream last between 6 months to 2 years, with the possibility of renewals. The maximum duration for an initial work permit is usually 2 years.
Eligible Job Roles
A wide variety of farm jobs qualify under the Agriculture Stream, each with specific National Occupation Codes (NOCs). Here are some common NOCs for farm worker roles:
- 80020/80021: Farm and Horticulture Managers
- 82030/82031: Supervisors for farms, greenhouses, orchards, etc.
- 84120: Agricultural Equipment Operators, such as tractor drivers
- 85100: General Farm Workers and Livestock Laborers
- 85101: Workers who harvest crops like fruits, vegetables, grains
- 85103: Nursery and Greenhouse Workers
To apply, your job must fall under one of these 6-digit NOC codes. Employers will assist you in determining the correct code for the available position.
The Hiring and Application Process
Most farms that hire foreign workers through the Agriculture Stream will already have an approved Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) on file. An LMIA confirms the need for foreign workers in that job.
Finding Approved Farm Jobs
Common ways to search for approved farm jobs include online job boards, networking within farming communities, and attending agricultural job fairs. Ensure that the job postings state that the position has an existing positive LMIA.
Once offered a job by an LMIA-approved employer, you’ll need the following to apply for a work permit:
- Job offer letter
- Educational credentials and work experience documents
- Police clearance from your home country
- Proof of sufficient funds for cost of living
- Travel medical insurance
- Passport and passport photos
Your employer will guide you through collecting all necessary paperwork and submitting your application. Work permits are typically processed within 6 months.
Competitive Wages and Benefits
Canadian farm workers earn competitive salaries compared to other countries, with hourly wages ranging from $16-$22 depending on experience and responsibilities. Many positions also include:
- Housing: Usually, subsidized or free accommodations are provided on or near the farm property, with facilities regularly inspected.
- Transportation: Employers cover the costs of flights or other travel to/from Canada and arrange transportation to/from work each day.
- Healthcare: All farm workers are insured, with employers either fully or partially covering monthly premiums, offering coverage comparable to Canadian public healthcare plans.
- Training: Some employers offer on-the-job training to develop new skills, particularly in areas like operating machinery.
- Flexibility: No academic credentials are required beyond high school or trades diploma level, with hands-on experience being highly valued.
Agriculture Sectors in Canada
An abundance of opportunities exists in Canada’s diverse agriculture industry. Let’s explore some of the top agricultural sectors in more depth.
Canada is a global leader in dairy production, export, and technology, with dairy farms throughout provinces like Ontario, Quebec, and the Prairies employing hundreds of foreign workers annually.
Roles include milking parlor attendants, barn workers, field hands, and equipment operators.
Fruit & Vegetable Growing
Fruits and vegetables are staples in southern Canada, with regions like the Okanagan Valley of BC, Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, and Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia being popular for their crops.
Common positions include orchard workers, fruit harvesters, vegetable harvesters, and greenhouse attendants.
Canada exports grains and oilseeds globally, with the Prairies leading production of staples like wheat, canola, oats, barley, and soy.
Jobs involve seeding, operating and maintaining farm machinery, hauling crops, and post-harvest tasks.
Poultry and Egg Production
Chickens and eggs are significant contributors to Canada’s farm cash receipts, with major production hubs in Ontario, Alberta, and BC.
Roles include caring for poultry flocks, cleaning and sanitizing poultry barns, and operating egg grading and sorting lines at processing plants.
By following these steps and meeting application requirements, dedicated individuals can gain experience and career potential in Canada’s agricultural sector through LMIA-approved farm jobs. For updates on opportunities, keep tabs on naijaonlineguide.com