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Renewable electricity industry given powerful HR strategies

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012

OTTAWA, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - To address an unprecedented severe skilled labour shortage facing the renewable electricity industry, Electricity Human Resources Canada, EHRC (formerly the Electricity Sector Council) is working hard with the industry in developing a set of unique strategies for recruiting and retaining the most important asset to any organization - its skilled workers. These tasks often involve competing with large and aggressive employers in other industries - oil and gas, construction and consulting businesses.  With the industry experiencing widespread deficiencies in the supply of engineers, technicians and technologists, skilled trades, experienced sales and supervision staff, timely HR best practices and a solid understanding of labour market conditions can make a big impact on a company`s bottom line well into the future.

The two year study that runs until February 2014 will deliver the labour market intelligence the renewable energy industry needs to proactively develop its human resources strategies. Renewing Futures will enable each sector to understand the dynamics of the workforce, and to create the groundwork for labour mobility between different economic sectors.

The initiative covers training programs, regulations and government policies, certification, interprovincial mobility, retention and sector specific specializations. "We hope this study will give Canada a robust information base and a coherent framework to build an even more skilled and globally competitive renewable electricity workforce" said Ted Kantrowitz, Chair of the Renewing Futures National Steering Committee and VP of Canadian GeoExchange Coalition.

The Renewing Futures website www.renewingfutures.ca provides the industry with unique valuable research on labour market issues, and practical tools to address skill shortages. "The project is a major step forward for the industry." said EHRC's Executive Director Michelle Branigan.  "It is helping the industry with the HR intelligence it needs as it closes the gap between skilled labour supply and demand." she added.  "Ultimately, it will ensure a healthy sustainable supply of workers that can build the required capacity for the next generation of clean energy systems.  We have reached a crucial time where the industry must act on these long term strategies."

Guiding the project is a national Steering Committee made up of a who's who of key industry stakeholders in the renewable energy industry including CANWEA, CANSIA and CHA to name a few.  Partnering with key industry stakeholders from various sectors including geothermal, solar, wind, hydropower, utilities, and education, labour and engineering, this unique initiative will lay the foundation for the establishment of a national unified renewable energy human resources infrastructure.  For a complete list of Renewing Futures National Steering Committee members, please visit the website at www.renewingfutures.ca.

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) is a not-for-profit organization helping to keep the lights on in Canada by enabling a world-class workforce for the entire electricity industry.  EHRC helps to build a better workforce by strengthening the ability of the Canadian electricity industry to meet current and future needs for a highly skilled, safety-focused, diverse and productive workforce.  For more information visit www.ElectricityHR.ca.

SOURCE Electricity Human Resources Canada

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