Food and Beverage Accelerated Skills Training Program (FAST)

The Food and Beverage Accelerated Skills Training Program (FAST), formerly the Skills Advance Ontario (SAO) Food Manufacturing Program, offers free online training and resources to help you get employed in the food manufacturing industry.

Ontario’s food and beverage manufacturing sector is the third largest in North America with manufacturing revenues of more than $48 billion.  The government of Ontario is investing in this industry and the FAST program offers free training through Goodwill to become part of this growing sector

All clients of the FAST program will have access to the following:

  • 4 weeks of free online training
  • 8 micro-certifications from Food Processing Skills Canada 
  • Soft skills and resume writing 
  • Access to mental health supports (CBT) during the program 
  • Opportunity to interview with some of the top food manufacturers in Ontario 
logo of Employment Ontario

This project is funded by Employment Ontario through the Skills Development Fund (SDF).

Register for the FAST Employment Program

The next cohort starts on 2 October 2023.

To learn more about this program, contact our Job Development team members at either number listed below, or attend one of our info sessions.

We use the contact information provided in this form only for the Food and Beverage Accelerated Skills Training Program (FAST).

What the Food and Beverage Accelerated Skills Training (FAST) Program offers:

  • 4 weeks free online accelerated training to help you develop essential and technical skills specific to the food manufacturing industry
  • 160 hours of supported employment with access to monetary supports during employment
  • All course materials, presentation, videos, discussions will take place online, however, accommodations provided for individuals who need in-person support and training

For more information you can call 905-526-8482 ext. 2307 or 905-526-8482 ext. 2286.

Benefits and Opportunities of FAST

  • Learn from the comfort of your home
  • Gain the essential skills needed to work in the food and beverage manufacturing industry
  • Earn micro-certifications from Food Processing Skills Canada (FPSC)
  • Develop an employment action plan with long-term and short-term goals for a sustainable career path
  • Access to job fairs and connect with local employers and industry professionals for full-time, long-term employment opportunities. View some of the employers that are associated with the program.

Benefits of Working in Food Manufacturing

  • Canada’s food and beverage industry is an essential part of the economy with over 7,800 companies employing almost 300,000 workers
  • The food and beverage processing industry is the second largest manufacturing industry in Canada
  • There are always opportunities to grow and expand your career – employers in manufacturing hire from within before seeking external candidates
  • You will be learning technical and hands-on skills on the job
  • High demand career – the job market will always be filled with opportunities in this sector
  • The food industry is a resilient and safe career path – the need for food and beverage is never-ending!


  • Interest in working in Food and beverage manufacturing in various roles
  • 18+ years old, legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Unemployed or working less than 20 hours per week
  • Not enrolled in full-time education or co-op placement
  • Living in Hamilton or Halton region (Burlington, Milton, Oakville)
  • Ability to attend 4 weeks of online training from 09:00 AM – 12:30 PM Monday to Friday (Attendance is mandatory throughout the program)
  • No past experience needed but required for more advanced roles

Minimum requirements

  • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Internet access
  • Speakers + microphones
  • Email address
  • Webcam
  • A quiet space
  • Designated time

Food and Beverage Accelerated Skills Training (FAST) Program incorporates a hybrid learning model utilizing an online and experiential curriculum to develop a skilled and dedicated workforce.

(If clients do not have access to this equipment, it will be provided during the duration of the program)

logo of Food Processing Skills Canada (FPSC)
Participants earn micro-certifications from Food Processing Skills Canada (FPSC)

Training Details

Food and Beverage Accelerated Skills Training (FAST) program participants will learn essential and technical skills specific to the food manufacturing industry with micro-certifications that are provincially and federally recognized. The technical training is conducted in partnership with City Schools by Mohawk College. 4 weeks of online training schedule is Monday to Friday from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM (Attendance is mandatory throughout the program).

Technical Skills Training and Certifications

  • Introduction to the Canadian Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry
  • Food Safety Culture and You
  • Workplace and Industrial Safety
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
  • Fundamentals of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
  • Sanitation Level 1 and Allergens Level 1
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Master Class
  • Managing Recall in a Wired World

Professional Skills Training

  • Communication Skills
  • Interview Skills
  • Resume and Cover letter
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Confidence and Motivation
  • Financial Planning

logo of Mohawk College
Technical training is conducted in partnership with City Schools by Mohawk College

Employers Associated with the Program

Fresh Start Foods, Gay Lea Foods, Maple Leaf Foods, Sierra Supply Chain Services, Springer’s Meats, Monastery Bakery, Eastern Food Market, Custan Foods, Sofina Foods, Pure Edibles

logo of Fresh Start Foods
logo of Gay Lea Foods
logo of Maple Leaf Foods
logo of Springer's Meats
logo of Monastery Bakery
logo of Custan Foods Hamilton
logo of Sofina Foods
logo of Pure Edibles Canada