Engineering sector experiencing skills shortage: Report

95,000 professional engineers to retire by 2020

Canada is facing a short supply of engineers with more than 10 years of specialized experience, according to a report by Engineers Canada.

About 95,000 professional engineers will retire by 2020. Canada will face a skills shortage because the workforce cannot be replaced fast enough by incoming Canadian or experienced internationally trained graduates, said Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2020.

The report found that supply and demand imbalances are becoming more serious. While engineering labour market conditions vary from region to region, markets must find ways to strike a balance between retiring workers and training incoming graduates and international engineers interested in working in Canada.

"The shortage of highly skilled professionals is undeniably contributing to the challenges faced by Canada's engineering industry,” said Jan Hein Bax, president of Randstad Canada which sponsored the report. β€œIn order to ensure competitiveness and benefit the future growth and prosperity of tomorrow's engineering workforce, it's important to fully understand the current and future needs of the industry.”

Other key findings of the report include areas of job growth due to investment in resources, utilities and infrastructure. This is particularly evident west of Quebec, meaning engineers who are willing to move will find many prospects. However, overall job growth forecasts were weaker than in earlier reports as a result of global economic conditions and government restraint.

In terms of immigration, experienced and specialized engineers will have better job prospects in Canada, as employers have recruiting needs for specific projects, but markets will be weaker for new graduates, found the report.

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