Where are the Canadian green jobs? A new sector is slowly emerging

Fixed fields may require re-training and may not offer the same salary, benefits as traditional oil and gas jobs.

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The last few years have not always been kind to oil and gas workers – almost overnight, commodity prices will fall, a wholesale will fall, but just as quickly, prices will return and workers will be in short supply.

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That unchanging cycle has been playing out since 2014 until industrial groups, including oil and gas workers, are looking for jobs in more stable sectors.

But exactly where? ‘Green’ jobs – identified as closed jobs to reduce carbon emissions – have been identified as a new economic driver who can offset oil and gas losses. Although the ‘green sector’ may eventually outperform the fossil fuels, efforts to diversify the economy are still in their infancy. For now, green jobs are still a new place, where workers need to be retrained, and positions do not offer the same level of pay and benefits as traditional oil and gas jobs.

“There are no (green) jobs right now,” said Cheryl Knight, a labor consultant in Alberta who is helping oil and gas workers move out of the sector.

Wind and solar power are by no means innovative, but they do represent a small part of the growing energy source throughout Canada.

She said a recent model used by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will generate 4 to 5 jobs per $ 1 million investment in a wind energy project, and five to seven for a solar PV project. He said he did not have adequate information for the oil and gas sector, but said most of the impact on employment was at the planning and construction stage.

Oil pipeline construction workers in Oklahoma.
Oil pipeline construction workers in Oklahoma. Photo by Daniel Akker / Bloomberg Files

Working on such projects requires fewer workers than the oil and gas project requires, Nike said, noting that there are opportunities for technicians, which do not necessarily require advanced degrees.

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“When you think of wind turbines, there are not many people who do it, and they are primarily electricians or wind specialists,” said Knight. They are usually technicians, merchants, and very few, and are similar to solar panels.

But she says even in the oil and gas industry, most jobs are big business and the good news is that green industries are growing in Canada.

There are companies that produce lithium from depleted fuel and gas tanks, which can then be used to make batteries for electric vehicles. There are also companies that study whether natural gas resources can be tapped to produce alternative hydrogen under fossil fuels. However, other companies are looking at other green innovations, such as the use of geothermal energy.

Most of these companies or divisions within large companies are still very much the same as before, in which case it is important to do research and look for efficiency and innovation. This means that they have not reached the stage of development where they are growing and hiring en masse.

“I believe that when the energy industry shifts to clean technology, it needs people who understand the energy process, the equipment, the energy problems, and they bring that knowledge with a bolt. Digital capabilities to use in an energy-intensive environment.

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Therefore, geologists who help oil companies identify new oil resources may focus on creating carbon dioxide in the reservoir. A petrochemical engineer can be converted to a lithium brew.

As wind and solar power continue to improve, new jobs are emerging that appeal to modern and gas workers who want to use their “domain knowledge” in the field of energy.

Excessive flames at the gas station.
Excessive flames at the gas station. Photo by Nick Oxford / Reuters files

For example, Calgary-based software company mCloud Technologies Corporation is helping to eliminate “unplanned time” in mid-stream oil and gas utilities: burning code, or equipment failures to burn unused gas or oil – is expanding rapidly. His website lists a number of vacancies for engineers, analysts and IT specialists.

MCloud chief marketing officer Barry Poe uses artificial intelligence to control the company’s software and prevent failures. Although it is a technology company at heart, it needs people who are energy experts.

The company’s software is also being used to control erosion on the edge of the sandbox and in the gearbox to increase the power output of the turbines.

There was a feeling, “Just put them away and they don’t need maintenance, and that’s not really true.” For life-changing wind turbines, you need to constantly manage and improve performance.

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Of course, it is difficult to predict exactly where green jobs will appear and what skills will be needed until companies get jobs. But Knight stressed that the carbon transition is governed by law, which adds some certainty to the transition.

Much work is already being done to predict and predict what the green economy will look like.

Britain-Colombia-based forecaster, which operates in four counties and has helped create more than 6,270 “green” jobs, is currently researching which skills are most needed in Canada’s future-supported Ottawa future. Power transfer.

Wind turbines in Germany.
Wind turbines in Germany. Photo by Ina Fassbender / AFP via Getty Images files

Although the study has not yet been completed, interviews with executives of 30 cleaning technology companies have found that information science skills are still in high demand, said Karen Spurs, senior communications manager at ForSite.

“People often have the skills to do ‘green work.’ “There is a perception that cleaning technology skills are very unique. Although applied by a separate lens, common manpower skills may often be necessary.

Experts like Knight say that while the transition is often easier for people in the past, it can be more complicated for people with higher degrees. Some people choose to take courses called mini-certificates, build small pillars, others return to school for two to four years, and pursue new higher education that allows for more significant career change.

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In July, the “Federal Transition” program announced that workers and communities would not be left in a low-carbon economy. They are asking for input from communities and people through September to support energy transfer strategies. During the harvest season, the committee reports on “what you have heard.”

Meanwhile, other efforts are underway. The Calgary Economic Development Corporation’s Edge Up 2.0 is a $ 5.4 million program designed to help oil workers and gas workers transition to a digital economy.

In 2019, out of 100 people, 75 percent got new jobs, 12 percent went back to school and 3 percent went back to the oil and gas sector, according to interim president and CEO Brad Parry.

“Many green jobs are related to technology,” says Paris.

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• Email gfriedman@postmedia.com | Twitter

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