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About the Data

Research Activities:

EHRC was responsible for the definition and scoping of the electricity and renewables industry as well as for the definition of company categories and the choice of occupational categories it used for the purpose of its surveys. More specifically, the reports and tables were based on the following research activities:

  • surveys with 87 employers, of which 23 were large primary producers and 64 were small or medium sized primary producers or employers whose primary business is not electricity;

  • a survey of 35 educational and/or training institutions offering courses/programs related to the electricity sector;

  • 12 interviews with training institution representatives; and

  • an extensive review of secondary data sources and published documents about the electricity sector.

Research Limitations:

  • On several occasions the surveys did not reach the identified contacts, or there was some difficulty in reaching contacts, and in some cases identifying alternate contacts. The timing of the survey posed a problem for some categories of respondents, some of whom were already participating in other surveys, while others cited end of year activities. This caused confusion for some, and non-participation for others.

  • The size and scope of the employer questionnaire proved to be very complex for some respondents. The two key issues that arose were: 1) missing or inconsistent data, and 2) misinterpretation or misunderstanding of survey questions. Some employers did not provide information for certain questions in the survey, either because they do not track their data in the same format as the survey, or they simply do not track the data.

  • Not all organizations that responded to the survey were able to provide answers for all questions. Where possible, follow up was undertaken or missing values were imputed based on the average response across all organizations that responded to the question.

  • There were 35 valid responses to the Educational Institution survey, and an additional 12 key informant interviews conducted resulting in a relatively small overall sample at the national level.

  • Resources limitations resulted in greater emphasis put on some occupations at the expense of others, in particular efforts were concentrated on issues/requirements associated with technical/production occupations.

  • The electricity industry is characterized by a number of establishments that would not be classified in NAICS industry 2211 that still have significant electricity-related generations. Alcan exemplifies such organizations that have an interest in human resource issues for electricity-based occupations.

  • Outsourcing of support functions is becoming more commonplace. Outsourcing would effectively result in the transfer of employment from the electricity NAICS (2211) to business service industries (i.e. typically NAICS code 5611). In analyzing statistical data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), it is important to recognize that changes in employment may well reflect outsourcing activities rather than actual reductions in employment.

  • Unlike some industries in which occupations are unique to the industry, the electricity industry has only a limited number of occupations that can be defined as "electricity only" occupations. For example, electricians, electrical engineers and utilities managers can be found in a variety of industries. Given the overlap with other industries, it was not possible to identify electricity-based employment using NOC coding alone.

Disclaimer

The information contained in the following reports and tables was developed from surveys and related research activities carried out by Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) for uses beneficial to industry participants in the context of its Labour Market Information Study. As well, the information is deemed to be of interest to a broader audience within the electricity and renewables sector and to the public in general. While EHRC believes the information to be reliable and made every effort to develop, administer and interpret the results of the surveys according to statistical ground rules, the reliability of information contained in the various reports and tables cannot be guaranteed. Essentially, EHRC is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, quality or legal sufficiency of the information. This disclaimer applies to the use of the information alone and to its aggregate use with other information, data or program.


Funded by the Government of Canada Sector Council Program