Employee training supports for agri-businesses

News release

May 8, 2020 - Edmonton, Alberta - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

In response to COVID-19, the Agriculture Training Support Program helps employers in the food supply chain provide necessary training to new domestic employees.

The program is intended to offset costs for COVID-19 safety and training, including the costs for personal protective equipment and to remove any barriers to getting Albertans safely working.

By providing up to $5 million in support to farmers, agri-businesses and food processors, the program helps offset the cost to train new employees safely in new agri-food roles. The program will support training for as many as 2,500 new jobs in Alberta. 

The maximum government contribution under the program is $2,000 per new employee, up to a maximum of $50,000 per employer. Grants will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis until available program funding is fully allocated.

In addition, approximately $1 million in funding will be targeted for meat processors to provide support for new hires to undertake meat-cutting training.

As part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Risk Management programs, this program will improve the agriculture and agri-food sector’s ability to anticipate, mitigate and prepare for risks that could have a major financial impact on the livestock and plant industries, or affect human health and safety.

Alberta is partnering with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services through the Labour and Immigration’s Workforce Development Agreement and through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. This program is administered by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

This job training support compliments the launch of Alberta’s Agriculture Job Connector, a web resource to help agriculture employers looking for workers connect with job seekers.

Alberta has a comprehensive response to COVID-19 including measures to enhance physical distancing, screening and testing. Financial supports are helping Alberta families and businesses.


“To all Albertans interested in work, jobs in the agriculture sector are dynamic, employ a range of skillsets and help to support your communities. These investments, provided by both levels of Government, will give Albertans the opportunity to train and transition into these rewarding jobs.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Alberta’s agriculture and food sector rely on thousands of people working every day to help keep food on our tables. As we see record high unemployment in Alberta due to a global economic slowdown and COVID-19, we need to ensure unemployed Albertans have the opportunity for domestic jobs insead of hiring workers from overseas.”

- Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

“Training will provide Albertans with the skills they need to find work and support the province’s agriculture employers.  This new program will support thousands of new job opportunities so Albertans can get back to work.”

- Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration

Quick facts

  • Program support is targeted to agricultural, meat processing and horticultural businesses and services on the Government of Alberta’s essential service list (with exception of aquaculture).

  • Applications are accepted via the existing Canadian Agricultural Partnership website.

  • The Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada's agriculture and agri-food sectors.

Associated links


Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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​​Justin Laurence
Acting Press Secretary, Agriculture and Forestry

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