Why Does Canada Hire Seasonal Workers?

July 1, 2022by Micah Shaw

The Canadian Government introduced the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) program in 1966 to source the workforce from Jamaica during certain seasons. The program has since expanded into other regions like Mexico and the Caribbean. These workers come to Canada on temporary visas to help during the planting and harvesting terms when farm owners cannot find enough local workers.

What Does Seasonal Work Mean?

The lack of workers in Canada is as real as the lack of employment in the other regions. This issue was first encountered in the mid-60s. There was insufficient manpower to fulfill farmers’ increasing needs for crops to be gathered and planted at the start of the season. And that is when the seasonal work program was started.

The Government saw it fit to hire seasonal workers to fill in the labor gap when farms needed work. By 2005, more than 18,000 foreign workers were on temporary visas, mainly in Ontario. The industry has kept expanding ever since, creating opportunities in many other industries other than agriculture, where seasonal work is expected.

In short, seasonal work is where Canadian employees employ labor from another country for a specific season. And there are many ways Canada is making it easy for companies to hire foreign workers. Workers get work permits, filling in vacant positions on contract terms. A TFW can stay in Canada for a maximum of 2 years, while a SAWP worker has a maximum of 8 months, with a possibility of returning for another season. 

Farm Seasonal Workers in Canada - Valley Personnel

Why Canada Hires Seasonal Workers

Every industry requires an adequate workforce to keep its operations to maximum productivity. And that is why you will see companies employing the services of recruitment firms like Valley Personnel LTD when they need executive or qualified staff for business development. They will use any available means, including outsourcing labor, to keep operating effectively.

In Canada, farmers have kept experiencing chronic and critical labor shortages as one of the biggest threats to the country’s agricultural sector. Such a deficit puts pressure on both the industry’s growth and worldwide competitiveness. Rural-urban migration is one of the primary causes of this shortage, affecting the production of perishables, most of which are seasonal.

Canadian farms will first consider hiring locals. But when they can’t find any Canadian workers, they will turn to the SAWP program or other Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) who offer temporary jobs opportunities and recruitments.

Insufficient labor causes inefficiency in farm operations, where they cannot offer proper care to animals and plants. And that is why international workers have become essential to the Canadian food production market. This program has been active for over 50 years and will continue as long as there is a labor shortage.  

What Is it like for Seasonal Workers in Canada, 2022?

Access to international labor was affected during the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed farmers to the brink of bankruptcy in search of labor. Luckily, things are returning to normal, and opportunities are opening up for more foreign workers.TFW streams make it easy for foreigners to work in Canada under the best conditions.

You can now apply through the aforementioned routes to live in Canada.However, take some time to sturdy different seasons and what to expect with the weather. For instance, there are precautions for those who want to work in Canada during winter – like ensuring you monitor weather warnings with a keen eye. Even so, the Canadian seasonal work program is a great opportunity for foreign workers.

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