Employers in the Electricity and Renewable Industry Now Have Another Tool to Meet Growing Labour Requirements as the Electricity Sector Council Launches Their Internationally Trained Worker Resource Kit:
With an aging workforce, impending mass retirements, and a decrease in uptake of certain educational programs related to the electricity sector, immigrants will play an increasingly significant role in meeting the sector's labour force needs.
Currently, however, immigrants represent only 13% of the total labour force in Canada's utilities industry (of which the electricity and renewables sector is a key component) - well below the national average of 19% of immigrants employed in all industries. This means other industries are facing similar challenges with skill shortages and are also vigorously pursuing Internationally Trained Workers (ITWs) as an attractive source of talent. According to the Conference Board of Canada, "Those organizations with 'immigrant-friendly' policies and practices in place that address the needs and issues of international talent are the ones that will attract and retain the workers needed to succeed."
In this context, the Electricity Sector Council (ESC) has developed a resource kit to support employers to more effectively reach and leverage this valuable talent pool. The kit provides pragmatic, accessible and user-friendly resources to enable employers to quickly become more effective at recruiting, hiring, integrating and retaining ITWs.
"The ITW resource kit will be of huge help in terms of all of the processes with hiring International workers. With so much growth in this industry it is important to reach out to skilled workers all over the world. This kit is not only a resource for industry but for workers as well, as it contains a collection of tried and tested ideas and resources from industry across Canada," says Lynn Meloney, Project Chair and HR Specialist at Emera Utility Services.
The ESC's 2011 Labour Market Information report, Power in Motion, has revealed that there are many reasons for employers in the electricity and renewable energy industry to employ Internationally Trained Workers including:
- Help meet labour needs
- Increase competitiveness
- Help develop new markets
- Make an organization more effective and innovative
- Connect employers with other valuable workers and organizations
"Our recent LMI report has indicated that despite significant efforts from the sector to develop new and innovative ways to address staffing needs, the workforce shortage still exists," said Michelle Branigan, Executive Director of the Electricity Sector Council, "New Canadians, among others, will need to be part of the strategy to mitigate that shortage." The ITW resource kit and the project website will provide valuable guidance to assist employers in navigating through the process of hiring ITWs to help meet workforce requirements.
Funded by the Foreign Credential Referral Office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the material is available in hard copy, and electronically with hyperlinks to other useful resources and websites at www.brightfutures.ca/international.