Supporting industry adopt, implement and scale innovative tools, processes, practices or resources to raise awareness of, attract, retain, and develop the domestic workforce in agriculture and food.

The Recruitment, Retention & Innovative Skills Training (RRIST) Program is a three-year, up to $7M program under the Agriculture and Food Workforce Development Initiative (AWDI). AWDI is funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. The initiative is a $15M fund designed to support BC’s agriculture industry to provide a stable and increasing food supply through targeted efforts to recruit and retain a sufficient workforce to meet the labour needs of the industry. AWDI is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF).

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Program Goals

Working in alignment with existing provincial and national labour initiatives, the goals of the RRIST program include:

  • Adoption of labour resources, tools, processes by producers and processors.
  • Partnerships that attract, train, and support people to work in agriculture, seafood and food processing.
  • Piloting of new or innovative labour resources, tools, and/or processes for agriculture, seafood and food processing.

Program Objectives

  • Adoption or establishment of new innovative training programs to recruit and train domestic workers.
  • Increased participation of specific populations within the agriculture workforce.
  • Improved awareness, applicability and outcomes of applied skills development and training programs and/or curriculum for the food and agriculture sector.
  • Increased awareness of opportunities and pathways for entry into food and agriculture careers and/or jobs.


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This program is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.