Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Increased labour force required to meet Canada’s greenhouse gas targets

September 24, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

If Canada is to achieve its greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation targets by 2050, a significant increase in trained professionals will be required, says a report released this week by Carbon Management Canada (CMC), a national network working with industry to develop commercially feasible ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The labour demand forecast, commissioned by CMC and conducted by Navius Research Inc., suggests that if Canada wants to stay on track toward achieving its long-term emissions reduction target of 60 to 70 per cent from 2006 levels by 2050, as many as 27,000 additional university, college or technical institute graduates could be needed by 2030. If Canada aims to achieve just half of this level of abatement, additional skilled labour demand could be as high as 12,000 full-time positions by 2030.

“We’ll need engineers, geologists, geoscientists, technicians and technologists,” said Richard Adamson, CMC managing director. “That would be a big challenge under the best of circumstances, but the bigger challenge is that many of the skill sets required to achieve that are the same skill sets that the energy industry is already short of under its present business as usual projections.”

The report focused on labour requirements associated with investments in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), which has been identified as a critical part of Canada’s GHG abatement strategy, and to a lesser extent on cogeneration in the oil sands.

A big concern is that any skills shortage could slow growth in the electricity production and fossil energy industries. 

“Our research shows that emissions reduction efforts will drive significant investment by industry, and the availability of skilled labour could become a limiting factor,” said Jacqueline Sharp, managing partner of Navius Research.

To read a summary of the report, click here.

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