April 26, 2021

Trends Show Growth for Renewable Energy Across Canada

But only 46% of wind technicians hired in Canada are graduates from wind tech training programs

Electricity generation from renewable sources is expected to continue increasing as Canada transitions to a lower-carbon economy, according to a report titled “Canada’s Renewable Power” released in March 2021 by the Canada Energy Regulator, which oversees the energy infrastructure. 

Furthermore, Canada is ranked ninth in the world for installed wind energy, according to the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA). The association recently conducted a wind tech survey of its membership to understand hiring trends, and it found that 54 percent of wind technicians hired are graduates from non-wind tech programs, while 38percent of experience profiles are from outside the industry. What’s more, of the total wind technician workforce, less than 3 percent are women.

If there were more recruits with common or standardized wind industry training, companies would find efficiency and effectiveness increase for recruiting, along with gains in productivity and a decrease in costs. 

“At ENERCON, we have learned that investing in promoting the wind industry and opportunities to high school and college students, as well as conducting training for our employees and our wind industry partners at our training center has proven most efficient,” says Isabelle Le Beau, Executive Director at ENERCON and member of the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) North America Committee.

Isabelle points out that several opportunities exist for salary and / or training subsidies through a range of institutions and governmental agencies such as:

  • Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) with its Green Jobs Program,
  • Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) Canada, which is focused on the renewable energy workforce, and
  • Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), which partners with industry to train people of all ages and backgrounds through more than 670 locations. 

When hiring experienced wind technicians, GWO certification is the avenue to improve safety and productivity because training is standardized, documented and easily verified. In fact, GWO training volumes grew 13% from 2019 to 2020 in Canada, giving more recognition to the effectiveness of standards which align requirements of employers, including basic safety and basic technical training. 

Renewable energy is a bigger part of the future and efficient hiring and training will benefit companies and the Canadian workforce alike.