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ENGINEERS: Look west for jobs

TORONTO – The job market for engineers is strongest in western Canada, according to information analyzed for a new report, Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2020. The report was sponsored by recruitment specialist...



TORONTO – The job market for engineers is strongest in western Canada, according to information analyzed for a new report, Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2020. The report was sponsored by recruitment specialist Randstad Canada in conjunction with Engineers Canada.

On a national basis, expansion demand is expected to create an additional 16,000 jobs for engineers by 2020. Virtually all of these jobs will be west of Quebec, with the bulk of them in Alberta and British Columbia. Alberta specifically has lagged behind national trends in enrolments in engineering programs, and an additional 900 engineers are needed annually to balance market demand. In Manitoba, increased construction activity, in particular in electricity generation and transmission, is leading to increased need for qualified engineers.

The report finds that Albert and British Columbia are the strongest engineering markets in this country. There was strong engineering job growth in Alberta in the past  year. Finding engineers with five to 10 years of experience or specialized skills will be a challenge because post-secondary programs are lagging behind national trends. British Columbia faces skills shortages and volatile markets in the resources sector – mining, metallurgy and petroleum. However, conditions are more balanced for computer and industrial engineers. Employers there will have to look outside the province to fill vacancies.

The engineering market in Saskatchewan is cyclical and varied, but here, too, professionals are in short supply. Resource projects, especially mining, are absorbing all the available engineers.

In Manitoba engineers are especially sought for expanding resource and utility projects. Electrical generation and transmission projects are big drivers of demand. Labour markets are divided with ongoing shortages of engineers with five to 10 years of experience or specialized skills.

Take together, the information in the report points to the need to retain older engineers, accelerate on-the-job training of new graduates, and create more post-secondary programs.

Randstad Engineering is a leader in engineering recruitment and workforce solutions. Visit Randstad.ca/engineering/


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