Victoria-based firm R.A. Malatest & Associates are the successful proponent in a request for proposals issued by Northern Lights College and has started research for an agriculture industry labour market study funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
The study, titled “State of the Agriculture Labour Trends and Needs in Northeast British Columbia,” is developing a broader picture of the issues and challenges facing the agriculture industry in Northeast BC.
Under the guidance of the advisory committee, the firm started primary research through interviews with Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders. Among those interviewed included the beef cattle industry, grain producers, specialty crops, and those in supporting roles in agriculture.
At the same time, the firm looked at data from StatsCan and BC Stats to develop a labour market profile for the region, as well as a literature review and four brief background research papers.
Malatest presented a progress report to the advisory committee on Dec. 11, 2020.
The next steps in the study will see agricultural business owners and employers in the region surveyed and more data collected.
The agriculture study will conclude in June 2021 and a report will be produced outlining a labour market strategy to address current and projected labour market needs in Northeast BC. It will make recommendations to help new talent develop world-class skills and encourage the industry to further embrace a culture of innovation.