Ontario — The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) launched what it calls a National Workforce Strategy with the aim to support Canada’s growing renewable energy and energy storage workforce.
The industry association says there’s extraordinary growth on the horizon.
This growth will need to draw on expertise across the Canadian workforce, including roles in construction, engineering and technical operations, as well as experts in supply-chain logistics, manufacturing, planning and business development. Additionally, the wave of new jobs will provide widespread opportunities across the Canadian economy.
“We are building the workforce of the future,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO, “and it is vital to be proactive to ensure the industry has all the resources in place to enable the massive expansion of wind, solar and energy storage that will be needed in Canada.”
As part of the launch, CanREA also released a report that examines three key considerations for growing the renewable-energy workforce: attracting new, skilled talent to the renewable-energy industry, retaining the current workforce and retaining industry knowledge within organizations.
As part of this project, CanREA developed an Employment-Process Model with five stages:
Introduce, Inform, Train and Evaluate, Employ and Retain, and identified the key stakeholders involved at each stage, including educational institutions, community advocates, mentors, program recruiters, training advocates, independent trainers, employers, industry organizations, standards developers, regulators and governments.
This model demonstrates the various pathways that could lead individuals to a renewable energy or energy-storage career.
CanREA reached out to many of these key stakeholders, including colleges and other entities providing training programs across Canada, and has collated in the National Workforce Strategy document all the most useful resources related to the training and development of new workers.
Through this process, CanREA identified gaps for which new resources, classifications and other tools need to be created—the next steps needed to support the current and future workforce.
As part of these next steps, CanREA issued a challenge to members present at the launch. CanREA’s Operations Program Director, Mathieu Côté, urged companies to: “Go out to all the schools in your area and speak to those students about careers in renewable energy and energy storage!”