Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Canada facing critical shortage of engineers

February 6, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Canada is facing a short supply of engineers with more than 10 years of specialized experience, according to a new study released by Engineers Canada.

The report, Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2020, has found that 95,000 professional engineers will retire by 2020. At that time, Canada will face a skills shortage because the workforce cannot be replaced fast enough by incoming Canadians or experienced, internationally-trained engineers.

The report also found that supply and demand imbalances are becoming more serious. While engineering labour market conditions vary from region to region, markets must find ways to strike a balance between retiring workers and training incoming graduates and international engineers interested in working in Canada.

“The study will help engineers, students, employers and governments plan for the future requirements of the Canadian engineering labour market,” said Kim Allen, FEC, P.Eng., chief executive officer of Engineers Canada, in a statement.


 “The shortage of highly skilled professionals is undeniably contributing to the challenges faced by Canada’s engineering industry,” said Jan Hein Bax, president of Randstad Canada, the company that helped Engineers Canada conduct the study. “In order to ensure competitiveness and benefit the future growth and prosperity of tomorrow’s engineering workforce, it’s important to fully understand the current and future needs of the industry. This valuable research is critical to taking us one step closer to addressing these industry challenges head-on.”

Other key findings of the report include areas of job growth due to investment in resources, utilities and infrastructure. This is particularly evident west of Quebec, meaning engineers who are willing to move will find many prospects. However, overall job growth forecasts were weaker than in earlier reports as a result of global economic conditions and government restraint. In terms of immigration, experienced and specialized engineers will have better job prospects in Canada, as employers have recruiting needs for specific projects, but markets will be weaker for new graduates.

The report explores demographic trends and job growth projections, including an overview of disciplines and geographical markets, such as occupations by province, and a new economic background with a detailed forecast of international conditions. To download a copy of the report, click here.

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