Canada’s environmental workforce adds 34,600 jobs during pandemic: report

Canada’s environmental workforce adds 34,600 jobs during pandemic: report

Canada’s environmental workforce grew 5% in 2020 – creating nearly 35,000 net new jobs – even as the impact of the pandemic rocked the economy and labor markets.

It depends a new report ECO Canada, which is also planning thousands more environmental openings over the next five years.

“It’s an industry that continues to grow and expand,” said Kevin Nilsen of ECO Canada, a Calgary-based national human resources group that tracks the market for green jobs.

The ECO Canada count includes workers from various industries and occupations who promote or support environmental protection, resource management and sustainability.

The report, released Wednesday, says the environmental workforce added about 34,600 net new jobs last year, bringing the total to about 689,900 workers.

The gains were largely attributable to environmental employment in Ontario (35,704) and Quebec (11,460), according to ECO Canada.

New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the territories have also created environmental jobs.

Six provinces saw declines – in part due to declining environmental work associated with natural resource sectors, including oil and gas, which saw activity plummet during the pandemic.

Kevin Nilson is President and CEO of Eco Canada. Based in Calgary, Eco Canada is a national human resources organization that supports the environmental sector. (Eco Canada)

Nilsen listed several reasons for the gains from green jobs.

Among them, he said that consumer demand has boosted the market for environmental goods and services. There is also a growing interest in energy efficiency, sustainability and green investing. He said governments have also invested in environmental initiatives.

Nilsen expects all provinces and territories to seek environmental workers over the next five years as the economy recovers and grows.

Projections predict that there will be 173,000 net environmental jobs across the country through 2025, including 74,400 jobs created as a result of growth and 98,300 in retirement.

“It will be a sector that will require a lot of young graduates, but also a lot of workers in transition,” said Nilsen.

The highest growth rate through 2025 is expected to be in Alberta, where various industries are expected to need 34,900 additional environmental workers during the period.

One source of activity will be Greengate Power’s Travers Solar project in southern Alberta.

When construction is complete by the end of 2022, it will become Canada’s largest solar installation. It will require around 500 workers to build, Greengate CEO Dan Balaban said.

“As technology continues to evolve and improve, we expect this opportunity to grow here in the province,” Balaban said.

“But it’s also a global opportunity. It’s the fastest growing source of energy.”

US President Joe Biden is advancing efforts to tackle climate change in his country, which could create opportunities for Canadian businesses. (Evan Vucci / The Associated Press)

A report of RBC Savingss Tuesday, highlighted the economic opportunities for Canada, in part attributable to the U.S. focus on climate change, with a focus on carbon capture technologies, clean energy and electric vehicles .

Among the country’s advantages is clean technology expertise, but he says that “further investments in skills training and strategic immigration will be critical to Canada’s ability to retain or acquire higher aspects. high value supply chains ”.

Clean Energy Canada spokesperson Trevor Melanson said the British Columbia-based think tank projects significant growth in clean energy jobs through the rest of the decade.

But he said it was also important for Canada to keep pace with other countries, whether in areas like green hydrogen or the development of clean technologies.

“Overall, I’m optimistic,” Melanson said.

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