Today, Palette Skills, in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan and Enterprise Machine Intelligence & Learning Initiative (EMILI) announced the launch of the Automation and Digital Agriculture Specialist Program. With a co-investment from Protein Industries Canada, it is a new rapid upskilling program to help employers in the agri-food sector find skilled talent to fuel the growth of their businesses.
The program upskills highly motivated workers looking to transition and advance into the agri-food sector. Upskilled workers can expect to develop careers in technology and business, agriculture automation, precision agriculture, and production management. The program is highly suitable for people who come from Indigenous communities, newcomers to Canada, recent postgraduates, and experienced professionals looking to transition to the growing and exciting agri-food sector.
This accelerated 8-week program targets automation and digitization technologies in agricultural production and processing facilities. It will allow candidates to specialize in identifying, managing, and implementing technologies to solve challenges and improve efficiencies across the agri-food value chain. This program is dedicated to providing the sector’s highest-growth firms with the diverse and well-trained talent they need to scale and grow. The entire program has been built in consultation with employers and industry representatives.
The program provides project-based learning in emerging technologies in agri-food such as GIS, IoT, unmanned aerial vehicles, artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors and big data. Participants learn and apply business and soft skills throughout the program, including project management, business development, teamwork and collaboration, problem-solving, and job readiness.
“We know employers need talent with the right foundational skills, and who possess a strong drive and desire to build careers in the agri-food industry. These are high-potential, resilient professionals who can help build relationships to drive business and streamline processes using new technologies,” said AJ Tibando, Executive Director of Palette Skills.
To meet the needs of the sector, Palette Skills leverages its successful upskilling model, consulting with industry partners to determine highly sought-after skills in the industry, and develop solutions to meet these needs. As a leader in agricultural research and education, the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan supports the program’s design and industry engagement. EMILI welcomes the partners’ industry engagement, as well as the integration of digital agriculture skills.
Dr. Trever Crowe, Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources commented, “Being responsive to the needs of industry stakeholders and employers is a traditional hallmark of the academic programming at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. This upskilling program led by Palette Skills will help learners from diverse disciplines become aware of and proficient in agricultural automation and digital agriculture, talents that agri-food companies need to scale into new global markets.”
As Canada’s agri-food sector evolves, so do the talent and skills needed to support it,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Today’s employees often need to understand how data and digital tools are being incorporated into everything from on-farm agriculture to food manufacturing. By having increased access to the right skills and talent, trailblazing companies across the country can increase their workforce, expanding their production and, as a result, growing Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient ecosystem.”
About Palette Skills:
Palette Skills is a national nonprofit funded in part by the Government of Canada. Palette Skills helps organizations access untapped labour markets and create pathways to career growth through industry-led accelerated upskilling programs. We work with over 100+ strategic partners across the country, including industry associations, economic development organizations and post-secondary institutions to identify demand, recruit participants, and deliver programs to transition talented individuals into Canada’s fastest growing industries.
The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is located in Saskatoon, Sask., on Treaty 6 territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis. Research, teaching and learning at USask are enhanced by its array of world-class centres and facilities. A range of excellent programs, from business, law and public policy to engineering, agriculture, medicine and veterinary medicine, positions USask to bring unique perspectives to key global challenges. With more than 25,700 students from around the globe, our strong community and well-recognized experts will continue to drive USask to be the university the world needs.
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Apply to the program today: www.paletteskills.org/agtech