Canadian Manufacturing

Increased labour force necessary to meet Canada’s GHG targets

As many as 27,000 more university, college and technical institute grads could be needed by 2030

September 24, 2013  by Canadian Manufacturing Daily Staff

CALGARY—Canada needs close to 30,000 post-secondary graduates over the next 16 years in order to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation targets set for 2050, according to a new report.

The report, commissioned by university-led research network Carbon Management Canada (CMC), warns that if the country wants to meet its lofty 60 to 70 per cent emissions reduction target from 2006 levels as many as 27,000 more university, college and technical institute grads could be needed.

“We’ll need engineers, geologists, geoscientists, technicians and technologists,” CMC managing director Richard Adamson said in a statement.

“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 CMC report claims that even if Canada were to target just half of its mitigation goals, the skilled labour demand could still be as high as 12,000 full-time positions by 2030.

Six of one, half dozen of the other

According to the report, of big concern is just how those projected employment numbers would affect other energy sectors moving forward.

In fact, the report suggests 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 Navius Research Inc. managing partner Jacqueline Sharp.

The report, conducted by Navius Research for CMC, 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 reduction strategy.