Ontario Agriculture Worker Safety and Awareness Certificate launched

GUELPH – The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has launch an online training program for workers new to the agricultural sector. The program was created in partnership with the University of Guelph – Ridgetown Campus Business Development Centre.

The Ontario Agriculture Worker Safety and Awareness Certificate is geared towards helping job seekers become more familiar with on-farm safety, while making it easier for employers to train new hires.

This new certificate program includes several e-learning modules designed to provide a broad overview of health and safety on a farm, an introduction to farm equipment operation and safety, and an introduction to both crop farm operations and livestock farm operations. The modules are designed to be completed at the participant’s own pace over approximately eight to 10 hours, in an entirely virtual format.

“This introductory online training program will help whether you are exploring a career in agriculture, looking to learn about safe work practices on a farm or considering how to add credentials to your resume,” said OFA president Peggy Brekveld. “This program will help set anyone up for success.”

“We are proud to partner with the OFA on this timely training initiative,” said Prof. Rene Van Acker, Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph. “We have a wide array of educational programs available for career paths in agriculture and food, and this training is a great step towards attracting new students to the agri-food industry.”

The certificate is part of Feeding Your Future, an OFA project funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, alongside many collaborative partners. The project has a variety of initiatives to make it easier for employers to find, train and retain workers and helps employ Ontarians with meaningful jobs. Through webinars, agri-training opportunities and virtual career fairs, Feeding Your Future allows candidates to learn more about agriculture, enter the workforce feeling prepared and confident, and provides opportunities for new connections to be made.

The Ontario agriculture and food sector features numerous rewarding career paths and educational opportunities. However, the industry is also unique, and requires trained and skilled workers to smoothly fill these labour gaps. Ontario job seekers may be looking to try something new, yet many do not have the connections or confidence to apply for opportunities in agriculture.

The Ontario Agriculture Worker Safety and Awareness Certificate is not a replacement for on-farm training. However, it will complement the training that new employees receive on the farm. The Certificate is valued at $299, but until the end of June 2021, it will be offered for $49 for up to five employees at an operation.

“It is a small investment for the knowledge and understanding that person who completes it will gain,” officials state.

To register for the training certificate, visit feedingyourfuture.ca/agri-training.