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April 23, 2009

Canadian solar industry anticipates 100 per cent job growth by 2012

OTTAWA

Canada’s solar industry labour force is poised to experience dramatic growth, of more than 100 per cent, over the next three years, according to a survey conducted by the Electricity Sector Council (ESC) in partnership with the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA).

The survey shows the highest growth rates are expected to fall into four job functions: project management (178 per cent), installation (146 per cent), sales (120 per cent) and manufacturing (107 per cent).

“Developing the solar industry’s workforce has never been more important as is evidenced in these findings,” said Elizabeth McDonald, CanSIA President. “We are pleased the government of Canada has already taken proactive steps and will continue to work to ensure the solar industry has the talent and skills necessary to fulfill the growth predicted.”

Last December, the federal government began working with the council and the association to develop new occupational standards for solar equipment installers.

Work is also underway with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges on developing a national curriculum for designers and installers of solar energy systems.

To meet the demand, the survey identifies a number of training streams needed to ensure an adequate labour force.

“We are pleased that along with this survey, we can point to the work already done by Natural Resources Canada in supporting the creation of occupational standards and curriculum for the design and installation of commercial and residential solar hot water and photovoltaic systems,” said Catherine Cottingham, ESC Executive Director and CEO.

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