ECO Canada, the steward of the Canadian environmental workforce, has recently released “A Green Economic Recovery: Trends, Developments, and Opportunities for the Environmental Workforce.” The report covers key industry trends in the sector that could impact green talent across Canada.

According to ECO Canada’s research, there will be a 44% increase in environmental jobs over the next decade. This comes from both sector growth and an increasing retirement amongst current workers and will affect all industries across the country.

“Because our work at ECO Canada is focused on the environmental labour force, we would be remiss if we did not identify any trends about the growth and development of workers,” said Kevin Nilsen, President & CEO of ECO Canada, in the foreword of the report.

Within the report, which can be read in full here, ECO Canada identified key growth areas that may drive the need for key talent in the short term and hopes that research like this can help influence industry, government and academia to support the sector with the necessary policies, funding and education to thrive. The report includes an analysis of the below trends:

  • Moving to a Skills-Based Economy – Highlighting the need to hire workers based on role-specific skills, both technical and soft, as opposed to solely focusing on experience or academic qualifications. There is an opportunity to fill jobs by upskilling and reskilling workers who are shifting from other industries and may be currently underrepresented in the workplace.
  • Youth in the Environmental Workforce – Young people who are about to enter the workforce are increasingly choosing academic and training programs that are either focused on the environment or choosing jobs that put them in a career path towards becoming an environmental professional.
  • The Energy Industry and Changing Perspectives – There has been a significant global shift towards sustainability, and the energy sector is heeding the call. Oil and gas companies are investing in clean technologies and solutions that reduce emissions, water use, and impact on the land.
  • Western Environmental Practice & Indigenous Traditional Knowledge – The deep knowledge and relationship of Indigenous peoples with the land presents tremendous opportunities, not only for employment and economic growth, but to be braided with western environmental practice in addressing issues like climate change.
  • Renewable Energy: Canada’s Energy Mix at a Glance – As a country rich in renewable energy sources, there are projects being developed across Canada to boost the presence of clean energy in the energy mix. There are also growing environmental work opportunities in the north as local communities are shift from diesel to renewable energy.
  • Combating Climate Change with Nature-Based Solutions – There’s an expected increase in the implementation of technologies and practices rooted in the power of nature to combat climate change.
  • Cleantech in Industry – Cleantech is a trillion-dollar opportunity in the global economy. Industries that have had tremendous impacts on the environment, such as transportation, are developing innovative solutions that will transform their sectors.
  • Consumers and Cleantech – Consumers are conscious of their own environmental impact. Not only are they choosing goods and services that are more environmentally friendly, they are also supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability.
  • A Digital Transformation – Digital technology is not only transforming industries, but it could also be driving sustainability. Innovations such as smart farming are helping the agricultural industry reduce its impact on the environment.
  • The Blue Economy – As a country surrounded by water, Canada’s blue economy presents opportunities around sustainable approaches to ocean and water-related industries, from marine transportation, to fisheries, to tourism.

ECO Canada is dedicated to the growth and development of the environmental workforce and the identification of industry and employment trends are critical to their work in helping Canada develop as a global leader in environmental innovation and jobs.

Click here to read the full report.


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