High value skills: the contribution of Canada's engineering and applied science technicians and technologists

OTTAWA, April 13, 2016 /CNW/ -  Employment growth for this occupational group has strongly outpaced overall employment growth for Canada as a whole over the past 15 years, according to a new report by The Conference Board of Canada.

The report, Assessing the Economic Contribution of Canada's Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists, found that the number of engineering and applied science technicians and technologists grew at an average annual pace of 3.5 per cent between 1997-98 and 2013-14, to reach around 400,000.  Furthermore, their average wage rate has consistently remained above the national average by more than 20 per cent.

"To sustain economic growth in light of slowing labour force growth, Canadian businesses need to focus on improving productivity and competitiveness. This means that demand for this occupational group will continue to grow in coming years," said Pedro Antunes, Deputy Chief Economist, The Conference Board of Canada.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Employment growth for this occupational group has strongly outpaced overall employment growth for Canada as a whole over the past 15 years thanks in part to Canada's move towards a knowledge economy.
  • Their average weekly wage rate has remained more than 20 per cent above the national average from 1997-98 to 2013-14.
  • Many of the challenges facing the Canadian economy, such as growing global competition, the aging population, slower labour force growth and growing public spending on health care, point to the need for productivity gains. Efforts to increase and maintain a high productivity level would likely involve the participation of technical professionals, such as engineering and applied science technicians and technologists.
  • According to the most recent Statistics Canada data, Canada's engineering and applied science technicians and technologists contribute $54.7 billion to the economy —3.3 per cent of Canadian GDP. 

Engineering and applied science technicians and technologists are found in the professional, scientific and technical services sector, manufacturing, construction, public administration, the information, cultural and recreation sector and the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector. Based on the most recent statistics, they contribute $54.7 billion to the economy or 3.3 per cent of GDP.

However, in order to continue to contribute to Canada's productivity growth, these technical professionals will need to improve and renew their skills to be able to adapt to changing industrial conditions. Furthermore, the growing wave of retiring professionals will lead to a need for trained individuals to fill both vacancies and future opportunities.

The engineering and applied science technicians and technologists occupational group includes, but is not limited to, user support technicians, computer network technicians, electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and industrial engineering technologists and technicians, chemical engineering technicians and technologists and geological, mineral and drafting technologists and technicians.  

The report, Assessing the Economic Contribution of Canada's Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists, is funded and supported by Technology Professionals Canada (TPC).

Report authors, Pedro Antunes and Julie Ades, will present the results of the report during a live webinar on April 19, 2016 at 02:00 PM EDT.

Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter.

 

SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca; Juline Ranger, Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca; For those interested in broadcast-quality interviews for your station, network, or online site, The Conference Board of Canada now has a studio capable of double-ender interviews (line fees apply), or we can send you pre-taped clips upon request. If you would like to be removed from our distribution list, please e-mail corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca.

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