Design Engineering

Preparing Canadian industry for the workforce demands of tomorrow

By ECO Canada   

Sustainability Energy
Sponsored by ECO Canada

ECO Canada wage funding programs help industry train young engineers to meet cleantech sector’s skill requirements.

(Photo credits: ECO Canada)

Engineers are at the forefront of new technologies, so it makes sense that there are so many engineers in green jobs. While civil and geological engineers take up the lion’s share of environmental work, there is an increasing demand for the skills of design engineers in creating solutions to improve sustainability.

According to the latest ECO Canada Labour Market Outlook Report (funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program), climate change, as well as the demand for green solutions, are two of the main drivers of the increasing need for skilled environmental workers in the next decade. And in ECO Canada’s recent 2021 Trends Report, employers were found to be moving from traditional experience-based hiring to a skills-based hiring process too.

To meet the Government of Canada’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050, there needs to be increased activity in the development and manufacturing of clean technologies. On the industry level, the energy, transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors are expanding their adoption of solutions that will allow them to decrease their current carbon footprint.

Consumers are also moving towards making greener choices, from reducing plastic use to purchasing EV vehicles. Canada has already produced cleantech innovation that will need to be commercialized and scaled up to meet future needs.


Because of this, many engineering and manufacturing jobs that may not have been traditionally thought of as green jobs will soon, if not already, be on the path to a career in the environment.

On top of industry and consumer demand, there will also be nearly 100,000 additional job openings in the environmental sector in the next five years as workers retire, particularly in mid to senior-level roles. As the current workforce moves up to replace these workers, employers will need to increase hiring of students and young professionals.

This workforce transition will be a significant period of change for employers. To prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, they must start planning for the transition today.

As the steward for Canada’s environmental workforce, ECO Canada champions the end-to-end career of an environmental professional and provides support to employers. To aid organizations in workforce expansion, ECO Canada provides wage funding programs which help to close the skills gap by providing young talent the opportunity to build skills on the job while subsidizing training costs to support the organization.

To date, ECO Canada has distributed over $90M in wage and training subsidies and helped to fill 10,000+ job placements. The wage funding programs delivered by ECO Canada can help employers place students or young professionals in a variety of jobs that fall under the umbrella of environmental work.

This can range from science, technology, engineering, and math, and even business and digital skills. Additional funding is also available to help grow the participation of underrepresented groups and fill jobs in northern, rural, or remote areas.

ECO Canada currently offers the following wage funding and training subsidy programs for environmental employers and young professionals:

Student Work Placement, for STEAM or business students in co-op positions, funded by Employment and Social Development Canada

Science & Technology Internship, for post-secondary graduates age 30 or younger in the natural resources sector, funded by Natural Resources Canada

Science Horizons Youth Internship, for STEM graduates age 30 or younger, funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada

Digital Skills For Youth, for digitally skilled youth aged 15-30, funded by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Wage funding not only helps employers with the capital to further expand their workforce, it also helps young people find meaningful employment in the environmental sector.

If your organization provides environmental employment, or you work in an environmental job, you may be eligible for wage funding. For more information, visit the ECO Canada website.


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories