Canada’s energy efficiency goods and services sector directly employed an estimated 436,000 permanent workers in 2018 and is poised to grow by 8.3 percent this year, creating over 36,000 jobs, according to a new report.
. Dennis Schroeder / NREL
These workers were employed across approximately 51,000 business establishments across six industries, specifically within Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, Professional & Business Services, Utilities and Other Services. Together, these establishments generated $82.6 billion (Canadian) in revenue in 2018 and were generally optimistic about growth prospects in 2019.
“Energy efficiency is key to Canada’s transition to a clean energy future,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.
The Energy Efficiency Employment in Canadareport released by ECO Canada is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada and offers a comprehensive breakdown of revenue, employment figures, hiring challenges and this year’s outlook by industry. Construction industry, by far the largest of the six, generated $37.6 billion (Canadian) in estimated revenue and employed over 287,000 workers across 39,000 establishments in 2018.
With increasing revenue and job growth across the sector, the demand for qualified energy efficiency workers is high. Over 70 percent of employers who participated in the study reported experiencing difficulties hiring energy efficiency workers. The hiring challenges are particularly acute in the construction industry, where 43 percent of the survey respondents stated it is “very difficult” to recruit workers. Lack of qualified workers was generally cited as a key reason for those hiring challenges.
The study also revealed unique workforce characteristics that suggest significant opportunities exist for hiring new Canadians, young graduates, Indigenous persons and workers switching careers to narrow the growing labor and skills gap.
“The labor market shortages can hinder the growth of the energy efficiency sector and stall the fight against climate change. Investments in workforce attraction and development including workforce diversification will be key to addressing the growing skills gap,” said Kevin Nilsen, President and CEO, ECO Canada.