National Action Needed to Support Projected Growth in Canada's Renewable Electricity Workforce

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) releases findings from Renewing Futures a national renewable electricity human resources research project. Results indicate strong growth in future employment opportunities in Canada's renewable electricity workforce and calls for national human resource collaboration amongst industry participants to meet future labour requirements.

This two year research project included over 400 representatives from wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, marine/tidal, small and large hydro, as well as, transmission, storage and distribution industries. The research provides crucial data on the impact of renewable electricity growth on labour markets and key occupations across the country. The resulting human resources report and strategic plan covers training programs, regulations and government policies, certification, interprovincial mobility, retirements, retention and sector specific specializations. And a technology report that identifies future growth in renewable electricity operations and development, describing the most likely technologies to be installed across the sectors in each Province.

The Renewing Futures research and consultation determined that immediate action is required. EHRC, along with an industry led steering committee, defined 12 strategic actions that will assist in building a qualified labour market to meet employer's needs for the next 10 years.

"The Renewing Futures reports provide the renewable electricity sector with reliable and valuable human resource data and analysis outlining future industry growth and the lack of skilled workers available to meet the demands," said EHRC's CEO, Michelle Branigan. "We have laid out a plan to expand the available workforce and build the depth and breadth of skills required. With industry participation from employers, trainers, unions and government regulators across all provinces and sectors, we are confident we can succeed in the development of a skilled workforce and provide Canadians with fulfilling careers in renewable electricity."

"Our Government's top priority is creating jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity. That is why we are taking action to address the paradox of too many Canadians without jobs and too many jobs without Canadians," said the Honourable Jason Kenney Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism. "The electricity sector alone is expected to need 45,000 new skilled workers in the next five years.  Our government is taking action to ensure Canadians have the skills they need to fill those jobs."

Implementation of these actions would reduce human resources costs related to turnover, recruiting and retirements while expanding career paths for thousands of workers.

"Canadians have a great interest in a reliable, robust and clean energy system. The renewable electricity industry has a critical role to play in reaching these objective," said Ted Kantrowitz, Chair of the Renewing Futures National Steering Committee. "Intelligent, well-trained workers will be key to our country's success in building this system. The Renewing Futures study and action plan sets the stage to effectively equip workers to meet the renewable electricity industry's needs in the medium and long terms."

Canadians will build between 13,800 and 42,800 MWs of new electrical generation capacity between 2012 and 2022. Actions proposed as part of this research will enable future development and operations of Canada's renewable electricity systems.

Visit www.renewingfutures.ca to view the Renewing Futures research.

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) is a not-for-profit organization helping to keep the lights on in Canada by enabling a world-class workforce for the entire electricity industry. EHRC helps to build a better workforce by strengthening the ability of the Canadian electricity industry to meet current and future needs for a highly skilled, safety-focused, diverse and productive workforce. For more information visit www.ElectricityHR.ca

SOURCE: Electricity Human Resources Canada

For further information:

Greg Lister, Manager Communications and Events
Electricity Human Resources Canada
613.235.5540, ext. 228
lister@electricityhr.ca

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