Identifies labour supply and demand gaps and key trends impacting the electricity sector workforce to safeguard the long-term stability of Canada’s electricity supply

TORONTO, ON (April 11, 2019) – Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) released its five-year Workforce
in Motion: Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) Study
today at a national
launch event with attendance by industry executives, labour representatives,
educators and sector stakeholders. New evidence projected to
2022 highlights workforce demographics and labour market changes in the context
of a rapidly changing energy landscape. This report is a call to action with
recommendations that will power human resource management planning for Canada’s electricity sector’s labour force
to address projected labour needs and navigate this complex and rapidly
changing industry environment.

The electricity sector in Canada proudly employs
106,575 utility workers across multiple occupations.[1] Developing a pipeline of skilled labour to ensure an adequate pool of trained and
experienced workers for both today and tomorrow is critical to ensuring the
long-term stability of Canada’s electricity supply.

Canadian investments in the electricity sector
are growing, concentrated
largely in renewable energy generation – energy policies are going green in keeping with Canada’s
commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Powerful forces are
reshaping the electricity sector with new technologies changing the way we
generate, store and distribute energy and inspect and monitor assets. Increasingly,
the sector must support the demand and impact of electric
vehicles (EVs) and other smart appliances on the grid, as well as identify and
mitigate cyber threats.

Building upon EHRC’s 2011 Power in Motion report, today’s release of the five-year Workforce in Motion:  Labour
Market Intelligence (LMI) Study
provides both current
information and long-term assessments of labour demand and supply for the
Canadian electricity sector.

Key findings include:

Labour demand

  • 20,500 new
    employees will be needed by 2022, equivalent to 20% of the current labour force
    – 86% to replace retiring employees, 14% to meet expansion demand.

Companies need younger, more diverse employees

  • Today’s
    labour force includes just 5% under the age of 25, 26% women, 5% Indigenous
    people, and 3% persons with disabilities.

What occupations are facing skills shortages, and will be most difficult to hire in 2022?

  • Power systems operators, power station operators, power systems electricians, electrical mechanics and most information and communications occupations are listed among the labour gaps identified.

Workers will need different training and skills

  • Cross-training between disciplines will be required, with the skills to handle both legacy systems and cutting-edge technologies.
  • Industry must continue to collaborate with educators and government to address the skills required for this sector by working with training institutions to adapt curricula and supporting work-integrated learning programs to develop professional and non-technical skills in new graduates.
  • There must be increased efforts toward standardization of college programs to reduce highly variable requirements and create a common set of national educational standards, in particular for the technologist and technician professions.

“New investments will generate new
opportunities that will demand highly specialized personnel with entirely new
skill sets,” stated Michelle Branigan,
CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC)
. “The findings in this
report will inform and improve the way the electricity sector conducts
workforce planning, training and needs assessment as both industry and government
work to preserve the sustained stability of Canada’s electricity supply within
the larger national and international context.”

“The data in the Workforce in Motion study will help
develop long term planning solutions to address the skilled trades shortage the
sector is currently facing and, ensure we have a strong and engaged workforce
to meet tomorrow’s energy needs,” said Barb
Keenan, Senior Vice-President, People, Culture & Chief Ethics for OPG
“We’re excited to tell our story: that the industry is vibrant, and OPG needs
creative and motivated new talent to take our company into the

“As the green economy
reshapes Canada’s electricity sector, we need the most up-to-date labour market
information to ensure the Canadian workforce is prepared,” stated The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of
Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
. “This report identifies what
jobs will be available in the coming years and outlines the skills Canadians
will need to get those good quality jobs in this sector.”


Electricity Human
Resources Canada (EHRC) is a national, not-for-profit organization that
researches human resources challenges and opportunities in the electricity
sector — and develops the tools to address them. EHRC is recognized for
producing and disseminating high-quality, relevant electricity industry
research, and is in the unique position to bring together industry stakeholders
to provide a national perspective on issues that impact Canada’s electricity
sector. It is the only national electricity organization that supports HR and
skills development and ensures industry stakeholders across Canada have a

Workforce in Motion: Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) Study to inform the next generation workforce to
2022: Please click here. Of note: Accredited media will
be offered this report at no charge, and will be asked to sign a non-disclosure
agreement (NDA) prior to report receipt.

National Launch Event Webcast: Please click here.

Media Contact: Alex Hosselet, Communications and Marketing Manager, EHRC | hosselet@electricity.ca


EHRC would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the organizations who participated on the National LMI Advisory Committee: NB Power, BC Hydro, Electricity Distributors Association (EDA)/Burlington Hydro, Ontario Power Generation, National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO), College of New Caledonia,  Natural Resources Canada, Power Workers’ Union, Engineers Canada, Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT), and Carleton University.

would also like to thank the many interview respondents –
employers, educational institutions and additional organizations who
participated in this study.

The five-year Workforce in Motion: Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) Study has been funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.

[1] Statistics Canada. 2016 Census of the Population: Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016295.