The new Jobs in Motion jobs board will make it easier for Canadians to find EV-related jobs. In an Electric Autonomy panel marking the launch, experts discussed why it’s a crucial tool for the industry today
Electric Autonomy, in partnership with Electric Mobility Canada (EMC), yesterday launched the Jobs in Motion jobs board.
It is a new national career portal, available in both English and French, aimed at connecting Canadians with job opportunities in the electric vehicle, clean transportation and advanced mobility technologies sectors.
“Our members are the first to tell us just how much Canada needs a career portal like this one,” said Neetika Sathe, chair of EMC, during the webinar announcing the jobs board, hosted by Electric Autonomy. “That’s because the EV industry is skyrocketing. It’s now the fastest-growing industry on the planet with hundreds of billions of dollars in investment announced over the past few years worldwide.”
The idea for the portal stemmed from a need to centralize on one platform workers and talent hunters.
“We are often approached by people who are really keen to get into the industry asking for pathways in and, equally, we’re often approached by organizations who are looking for talent and trying to find people who are keen and enthusiastic to come and work in this industry,” says Nino Di Cara, founder and president of Electric Autonomy.
“We obviously recognized that there was a huge demand for a platform like this, so that’s what we’ve built.”
The Jobs in Motion platform features a curated selection of relevant job listings from the industry. It allows interested job seekers to search for positions based on job title, location, or company.
Qualified workers needed today
The timing of the launch of the Jobs in Motion platform aligns with the industry’s increasing need for qualified workers to fill a wide range of jobs.
A recent report by Clean Energy Canada highlights the growth potential in the EV sector. It estimates that the number of EV-related jobs will increase 60 times what it is today by 2050. That means over 1.3 million roles to fill.
“That’s just when we’re talking about EVs for EV manufacturing or mining. Add[ing] jobs in the clean energy sector will add at least another half million people. So we’re talking almost 2 million people between now and 2050 that we will need to work in clean mobility and clean energy,” said Daniel Breton, president & CEO of Electric Mobility Canada, during the webinar.
To illustrate the job creation potential in the industry, Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors conducted a study for ChargePoint and the Accelerate Alliance, focusing on one aspect of the industry: EV charging infrastructure.
“We found that up to 2,700 full-time positions would need to be filled by 2025 alone and that that would continue to grow as our charging infrastructure needs grow,” said Maddy Ewing, a consultant at Dunsky and webinar panelist.
Among the jobs in high demand, electrical contractors and engineers are at the top of the list. People in these roles are responsible for installing chargers, completing the wiring, installing electrical equipment and ensuring compliance with regulations and codes.
Civil contractors and general contractors are also in-demand jobs for their on-site expertise in facilitating the construction and deployment of charging infrastructure.
“All that to say is there’s a wide variety of individuals that are needed,” said Ewing.
And it’s not a jurisdictional issue.
“We will need mechanics, we will need people working in sales and marketing, but we will need chemists and engineers and physicists. So it’s really across the board and it’s really across Canada. It’s not an Ontario thing, it’s not a Quebec thing, it’s a pan-Canadian thing,” said Breton.
In addition to attracting new talent, it’s crucial to provide training opportunities for individuals already working, but looking to upgrade their skills.
“A worker that lacks the skills needed to perform service work is just as significant as not having a worker to fill a position. The skill shortage is a consequence of modern vehicle technology that’s changing the cars we drive,” said Alana Baker, senior director of government relations at Automotive Industries Association (AIA) Canada.
The AIA represents Canada’s auto care or aftermarket sector. This market segment encompasses various products and services a vehicle may need after it leaves the dealership.
In May, AIA announced a collaboration with the Government of Ontario, St. Lawrence College, Conestoga College, Fanshawe College and Plug ‘N Drive to launch two new training programs for the auto care industry. These programs will provide maintenance and repair training for EVs aim to current automotive tradespeople. Additionally, they offer exposure and hands-on, exploratory experiences for individuals seeking employment in the automotive industry.
“Getting working automotive tradespeople the skills that they need and getting more people into the automotive trades is essential,” said Baker. To do this government partnerships and support is needed to enable the industry to adapt swiftly to skill requirements.
She suggested the government should give funding to employers to access third-party training for their workers. Or, offer wage rebates to companies who proactively deliver that upskilling and training to their employees.
Baker added that these upskilling and training systems need to remain flexible and keep pace with technology advancements. Training curriculums should focus on developing specific skills or competencies, while training programs should be short in length.
“I think we collectively also need to be more direct and engaged in promoting the skilled trades not just as a job, but rather showcasing tangible real-life examples of the rewarding career trajectory, focusing on those lifelong skills that can be developed along the way,” said Baker.
Removing job stigma, building representation
As Canada moves towards a more sustainable future, the demand for skilled workers in the EV industry is on the rise but the industry is also facing a worker shortage.
“The automotive workforce lacks diversity which further limits the pool of prospective workers,” said Baker. “I would say we have not done a good enough job to attract women and new Canadians.”
An analysis of 2016 census data reveals just 31 per cent of the automotive industry’s workforce identifies as female, 22 per cent as foreign-born and five per cent as Indigenous. Additionally, there is evidence that many new technicians, specifically women, do not stay in the industry. This is possibly due to not finding their place in the automotive sector, says Baker.
To address this issue, Ewing emphasized the need for representation and inclusivity.
“There needs to be a push to sort of increase that representation within those communities. Set up mentorship relationships and networking opportunities to ensure people can feel connected to individuals in that sector and they can actually see themselves there in the future, she said.
Ewing also highlighted the importance of supporting immigrants who possess the necessary skills for the EV sector but face barriers to certification. Streamlining the certification process can enable their talents to be properly leveraged.
The labour shortage is influenced by other factors, including the existing stigma associated with a career in the automotive trade, said Baker.
“I think that raising that awareness about how technology is changing the future can not only change perspectives, but also help to break some of that stigma that still exists and deters people from even considering a career in the automotive trades,” Baker said.
“Collectively, we need to do more promotion value of getting into the trades…Building that awareness, and raising the profile, I think can help attract younger students, but also attract more people from non-traditional groups, including women, immigrants, BIPOC workers and also people with disabilities.”