September 20, 2023
Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC), in partnership with the Government of Alberta, is launching a series of resources to address current and future workforce requirements to help ensure the integrity of Alberta’s power grid – now and for future generations.
Alberta’s Electricity Sector – An Essential and Growing Workforce
Power grid stability for hospitals, grocery stores – to keep the farms and communities running and for the many devices and machines that are used every day – is critical for Albertans, and for the economy.
Critical labour challenges, technological advancements and a retiring workforce all point to difficult workforce challenges for the electricity sector. Retirement rates alone will see a cumulative requirement to replace approximately 12% to 14% of the current workforce.
Significant talent growth opportunities include women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, and newcomers. Human resources (HR) professionals are leading the solutions required to source and retain the talent pool with the skills and expertise required to meet Alberta’s current and future electricity capacity.
New Peer Learning Communities (PLC) Resources
The Peer Learning Communities (PLCs) initiative brings real-time peer-to-peer discussions, problem-solving and best practices sharing to the forefront of workforce planning for Alberta’s electricity sector. It provides a dedicated “safe space” and resources via an online platform where HR professionals will save time and effort by sharing tried and true solutions and applying proven, practical approaches. The Government of Alberta provided $98,800 through the Workforce Partnerships program.
The Honourable Matt Jones, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade
“Alberta’s Government recognizes the importance of a skilled, diverse and growing electricity workforce and creating opportunities for all Albertans. Investing in this program with Electricity Human Resources Canada will help drive economic growth to build a stronger Alberta.”
Michelle Branigan, CEO, EHRC
“The workplace is diversifying and changing – and we are providing Alberta’s HR professionals with the innovative forums and resources to share their experience and ideas, deliberate together and discuss key issues, and advance best practices. This will help recruit and retain the talent we need to meet growing electricity sector needs.”
Workplace Leaders and Peer Learning Communities (PLCs)
Beyond the policies that organizations have in place, PLC forums (both virtual and in-person) inspire change at a cultural level, by teaching front line workers and teams.
Jamie Schrader is an HR professional with Heartland Generation, one of Alberta’s largest power generators, and is a founding member of EHRC’s Peer Learning Communities (PLC). Jamie believes there is a strong fit between her work with diversity and inclusion, compensation and training priorities and the benefits/return on investment (ROI) that come with PLC participation.
This approach is different – it provides ongoing collaboration, and it is fluid – a topic is raised, and conversations take different directions to address immediate concerns and situations. There is definite value in talking things through with peers who bring their experience and unique perspectives to the table. Talking together broadens our understanding and drives solutions. This gets traction.
Fangfang Xiao is an Assistant Business Manager with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local Union 424, based in Edmonton.
Through PLCs, I have access to mentoring and coaching on how to do my job. During PLC discussions, I share what IBEW is doing to attract other workers, how to succeed in this career and how to help new people. We are learning from other organizations with this collaborative approach – this is very exciting for me.