News | April 20, 2018

EHRC Unveils Labour Market Intelligence for Alberta's Energy Sector – Workforce Transitions Report

CALGARY, Alberta--()--Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC), released its Labour Market Intelligence for Alberta’s Energy Sector – Workforce Transitions report earlier this week amongst a key group of employers, labour and educators at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. The Report is the result of a study, undertaken by EHRC and funded by the Government of Alberta, that examined the labour market needs of the province’s electricity sector including hiring projections, the increased focus on renewable integration and how innovation in technology will impact the skills of the future workforce.

“The accelerated pace of change of our province including advancements in technology and the integration of renewables on the grid will have a huge impact on our workforce. We need to anticipate what skills employers need so that they can be competitive in a diversifying economy. We know this pace of change will not be slowing down anytime soon. So we want to ensure that businesses, governments, communities and Albertans have the best and up-to-date information to make the right decisions on their future. Without a doubt this research on the future of electricity will help ensure our province has the most skilled, adaptable and innovative workforce possible,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour & Responsible for Democratic Renewal.

The report covers the next five years of transition and change for more than 23 key occupations in Alberta’s electricity sector. It provides new evidence about demographics, major investments and changes in labour markets, training programs and human resource management practices. It also serves as a call to action, supporting sector human resource management planning while providing new information on best practices for transitioning workforces and insights into Alberta’s growing renewable energy sector.

In light of the evidence presented in the report, key recommendations to support Alberta’s changing electricity workforce include the need for:

  • Regularly updated labour market and career information to reflect the changing structure of the sector and future job opportunities.
  • United Action to support education and training by understanding and defining emerging occupations and to prepare appropriate training or retraining pathways.
  • Future-ready regulations and standards for renewable energy occupations — based on an understanding of how the requisite skills will be practically applied in the workplace —to facilitate the evolution of Alberta's electricity sector workforce.
  • Retirement and pension-bridging programs to both help workers transition as a result of the coal phase-out and ensure replacement workers possess the right skills and experience to manage the loss of older workers.
  • More formal diversity hiring strategies, particularly for women, Indigenous peoples, and visible minorities given future skill gaps and that workforce needs may be filled by hiring from non-traditional labour pools.
  • Greater apprenticeship programming that incentivize employers to hire first-year apprentices to support the transition of new workers into the emerging renewable sector.

How the industry navigates the above-noted transitions will be driven by the extent to which united action is exercised in embracing opportunities through the implementation of key recommendations proposed.

To download your own copy of the executive summary or the full report please visit EHRC’s reports and resources’ page: http://electricityhr.ca/reports-and-resources/

Acknowledgements

A project such as this requires the help and participation of numerous individuals and organizations. EHRC would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the following organizations who participated on the Alberta LMI Steering Committee: the Alberta Electric System Operator, AltaLink Management Ltd., Capital Power Corporation, IBEW Local Union 254, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, TransAlta Corporation, Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta, University of Calgary, ENMAX Corporation, Canadian Wind Energy Association, and Canadian Solar Industries Association.

Labour Market Development Agreement

The Province of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services.

About Electricity Human Resources Canada

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) is Canada’s most trusted source of objective human resources information and tools to help the Canadian electricity industry match workforce supply and demand. 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.