Canadian Consulting Engineer

CanREA launches strategy to grow renewables workforce

April 12, 2023

“There will be more and more jobs available as the industry expands." - Mathieu Côté, operations program director

CanREA National Workforce Strategy

Left to right: Phil McKay, Mary MacLean and Mathieu Côté.

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) launched its National Workforce Strategy earlier this month to help support expansion of solar and wind power and energy storage infrastructure in the coming decades.

Several team members (pictured) presented the strategy on Apr. 4 at a plenary session during the 2023 CanREA Operations Summit—reportedly the largest to date—at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport & Conference Centre. Their report highlights the need to draw on expertise from professionals in engineering, construction, technical operations, supply-chain logistics, manufacturing, planning and business development.

The report highlights the need to (a) attract new talent to the renewable energy industry, (b) retain the current workforce and (c) maintain industry knowledge within organizations. It represents the first step in exploring Canada’s workforce development needs in the context of CanREA’s 2050 Vision, which calls for a nearly tenfold expansion of wind and solar.

“To keep the workforce growing at the pace needed, workers must be cultivated, recruited into the industry and supported as they climb the ladder into leadership positions,” said lead author Mary MacLean, CanREA’s environment, health and safety (EHS) and workforce development co-ordinator.

The organization has developed an employment process model and identified key stakeholders involved at each of its stages, including educational institutions, community advocates, mentors, program recruiters, training advocates, independent trainers, employers, industry organizations, standards developers, regulators and governments. After reaching out to many of these stakeholders, CanREA has collated their training and development resources into the report.

“Many organizations and institutions across Canada have been working hard to develop the workers our industry depends on,” added Phil McKay, senior director of technical and utility affairs. “It’s time to come together and collaborate on an unprecedented scale to meet the opportunity ahead.”

“There will be more and more jobs available as the industry expands,” said operations program director Mathieu Côté. “Developing a skilled workforce will be key. CanREA is determined to get the ball rolling.”


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