More Canadian workers to benefit from the green economy

EDMONTON, AB, Sept. 18, 2023 /CNW/ – Canada’s green economy is reducing our carbon footprint through renewable energy systems, eco-friendly buildings and improved urban planning. To support its continued growth, workers across Canada require the necessary skills and training to contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future. 

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, announced $111.4 million in funding to seven organizations across Canada that are helping to create more training and career opportunities in the green economy. The funding is provided through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program and is expected to support over 22,270 Canadians and benefit approximately 970 employers across the country.

The seven funded projects will bridge gaps in training and upskilling, while empowering Canadians to seize new work opportunities within the green economy. These initiatives will support various industries that prioritize environmental protection, sustainable natural resource management and the advancement of Canada’s low-carbon economy.

The Minister made the announcement while visiting Iron and Earth, a non-profit organization, that will receive $16 million for its project, Resilient Communities Empowering Worker Transitions. This funding will support a series of training programs on the clean economy and renewable energy practices. Over 3,655 workers are expected to benefit from this project, gaining new skills on how to apply energy efficient practices across their work.

Today’s announcement supports the Government’s ongoing actions to grow Canada’s economy, create good jobs and invest in Canada’s green economy as announced in Budget 2023. It also aligns with Canada’s recently introduced interim Sustainable Jobs Plan for 2023–2025 to guide efforts to support the move to a net-zero emissions economy.


“Canadian workers are leading the way in building a green economy, and we will always be there to support workers in acquiring the skills they need to do so. Through these investments, we are positioning workers in Edmonton, and across Canada, for success in the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault

“Iron and Earth is pleased to be part of the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program funding to support workers and employers as the world moves to a net-zero emissions economy. Through funding from the Green Economy stream, Iron and Earth will bring upskilling opportunities to thousands of workers, Indigenous people, and their communities. Together, we can reach Canada’s climate targets and secure sustainable jobs for our energy future.”

– Executive Director, Luisa Da Silva, Iron and Earth

Quick Facts
  • According to labour market data from December 2022, an estimated 314,257 jobs were attributable to the environmental and clean technology products sector in 2021, up 6.5% from 2020 and accounting for 1.6% of all jobs in Canada in 2021. The utilities industry was the largest industry group in terms of employment, accounting for more than one fifth (65,656) of environmental and clean technology jobs in 2021.
  • It is anticipated that about 1.1 million workers across all sectors will retire over the next three years. The Royal Bank of Canada estimates the net-zero transition could create up to 400,000 new jobs in Canada by the end of this decade alone.
  • Through a series of national climate plans since 2016—including the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, which is the first plan to be issued under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act—the Government of Canada has committed more than $120 billion to climate action and low-carbon economic development.
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Over $111.4 million in funding, allocated to the following seven organizations, will support national projects under the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program’s Green Economy stream: 

Organization: Canada Green Building Council

Project name: Building Skills for Climate Change: Low Carbon Training

Description: This project, which will run for 17 months, will develop and deliver training programs to support the decarbonization of Canada’s buildings. Training will be offered to a variety of workers involved in the building industry, including engineers, architects, contractors, owners and building operators, with an emphasis on early and mid-career individuals (namely aged 20 to 40).

Targeted sector: Construction

Targeted participants: 3,000

Targeted employers: 100 

Funding amount: $7,896,192 

Organization: Canadian Skills Training and Employment Coalition

Project name: FOCAL: Solutions to Workforce Challenges and Industry Transitions 

Description: This project will support the shift to the production of electric vehicles and equipment to reduce manufacturing plant emissions. It will also support the broader automotive sector and its suppliers, including steel, to meet current and future workforce needs as the sector transitions to the production of electric vehicles, equipment that reduces plant emissions, and other manufacturing processes that contribute to the reduction of Canada’s carbon footprint.

Targeted sector: Manufacturing

Targeted participants: 1,510

Targeted employers: 250 

Funding amount: $8,104,907

Organization: Electricity Human Resources Canada 

Project name: Growing an Agile Workforce for a Low Carbon Future 

Description: This project will conduct Labour Market Information research and develop a digital labour market future-forecasting tool to better prepare workers and employers in the electricity and renewable energy sector, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. In addition, the organization will develop and implement a micro-accreditation program, develop national training standards for three to five renewable occupations. It will also provide funding to organizations to hire and/or train workers transitioning to the electricity sector through wage subsidies and three to five pre-orientation trades programs.

Targeted sector: Natural Resources and Environment

Targeted participants: 520

Targeted employers: 100 

Funding amount: $11,810,479 

Organization: Iron and Earth

Project name: Resilient communities empowering worker transitions 

Description: This project, which will run for 16 months, will deliver a series of training programs to create innovative training opportunities in the area of renewable energy. Through industry-specific training, learning sessions, career supports and more, participants will learn new techniques on how to apply sustainable practices into renewable energy designs and energy modeling.

Targeted sector: Natural Resources and Environment

Targeted participants: 3,655

Targeted employers:

Funding amount: $16,658,302 

Organization: The Mining Industry Human Resources Council 

Project name: Mining Sector Skills and Solutions Strategy for the Clean Economy 

Description: This project will undertake a national, collaborative, multi-stakeholder initiative to attract, recruit and develop a diverse, skilled and safe Canadian mining workforce. It will focus on providing creative solutions for Canada’s mining labour market by providing timely and responsive labour market information. Programs will also raise awareness of equity, diversity and inclusion topics of intercultural awareness, Indigenous awareness and gender equity.

Targeted sector: Natural Resources and Environment 

Targeted participants: 2,865

Targeted employers: 20

Funding amount: $15,437,147

Organization: Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology, on behalf of the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery

Project name: Demand Driven Workforce Training Solutions for a Clean Economy

Description: This project will provide participants with access to fully funded micro-credentials to help increase their skills and competencies. Specifically, the training offered will help address workforce needs in the agriculture, clean tech, construction, natural resources, environment and transportation sectors through 80 micro-credential courses. Additionally, it will reduce employment barriers for under-represented groups.

Targeted sector: Natural Resources and Environment, Clean Tech, Agriculture, Construction and Transportation 

Targeted participants: 10,000

Targeted employers: over 500 

Funding amount: $46,500,000

Organization: TREC Charitable Foundation (Relay Education)

Project name: Clean Tech Training for Indigenous and Urban Community Members 

Description: This project will develop work-integrated learning workshops across Canada in the areas of solar installation and operations, vertical farming/greenhouse, wind energy and geographic information system mapping for renewable energy. Workshops will target equity-deserving groups and address specific industry needs in clean technology, clean energy, agriculture and natural resources.

Targeted sector: Natural Resources and Environment, Agriculture and Agri-Food

Targeted participants: 720 

Targeted employers: 0 

Funding amount: $4,974,470 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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