Electrical Business


Electricity industry must HIRE NOW; ESC publishes labour market information

December 12, 2011 | By Anthony Capkun

December 12, 2011 – There are tens of thousands of skilled and soon-to-be skilled workers; this industry must hire to continue delivering reliable electricity to Canadian homes and businesses to meet our economy’s energy needs.

This is among the revelations and conclusions stemming from the Electricity Sector Council’s (ESC’s) “Power in Motion” (2011) Labour Market Information (LMI) study, which reveals/contains:

• 45,000 new skilled workers are needed over next five years.
• Data on 30 critical electricity occupations with key information from 89 employer organizations and 47 post-secondary institutions in 140 labour markets.
• A new LMI model which forecasts future labour market trends for each occupation
• The electricity and renewables sector’s competitive advantages and an action plan.
• How united action can maximize limited resources and make the most effective use of labour markets.

These workers will be refurbishing our aging legacy infrastructure, building and operating the next-generation infrastructure (enabling the transition to renewable resources), and replacing a rising wave of experienced retirees, says ESC.


With expected investments of almost $300 billion over the next 20 years, this massive transformation is already gaining momentum. It is creating unprecedented labour demands, just when Canada has a limited skilled labour supply. These conditions create the most severe skills shortages and labour market challenges that the industry may have ever faced, warns the council.

Projections from 2011 to 2016 focus on the need to attract immigrants and workers from other industries. Other employers, though, are looking for the same workers such as engineers, technicians and technologists, and skilled trades with five or more years of experience. Electricity and renewable sector employers looking for these candidates will face stiff competition.

ESC insists its Labour Market Information Study will “enhance your decision-making capability and facilitate workforce planning decisions based on strong supply-and-demand forecast data for the electricity and renewable labour force”. Recommendations include appropriate actions to mitigate the effects of a rapidly changing labour market, adds ESC.

The 2011 LMI Report will be available for purchase January 31, 2012.

Program partners whose early support made the undertaking of this study possible include: ATCO Electric; Horizon Utilities Corp.; ATCO Power; Hydro One Inc.; Battle River Rural Electrification Association; Hydro Ottawa; BC Hydro; Nalcor Energy; City of New Westminster Electricity Utility; Ontario Power Generation; NB Power; St. Thomas Energy Services; ENMAX Corp.; Toronto Hydro Corp.; FortisBC; Yukon Energy; Alberta Electric System Operator; Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.

Email info@brightfutures.ca for information on purchasing a copy.

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