EHRC’s Commitment to the Statement of Principles
As the Canadian electricity sector hub for human resource support and research, EHRC recognizes the importance of supporting our wide-range of partners and stakeholders to develop and deploy safe, clean and reliable, and affordable energy options to meet the current and future demands on our power grid. Our comprehensive research studies and programs consistently probe technological advances, the impact that those advances will have on the Canadian electricity workforce, and subsequent education/training requirements for both employers and post-secondary institutions. EHRC’s thought leadership create programs, resources and tools to address the needs of our sector.
The industry is dynamic and evolving – innovation in technology and changes in regulations are sparking new skills and competency requirements and transforming occupational responsibilities, leading to the transferability of skills from traditional to leading edge functional areas. As SMRs are adopted as a new technology to combat climate change and support the generation of safe, simpler and cleaner nuclear energy, the need for skills identification and development will come to the fore.
EHRC recognizes at crux of the Statement of Principles as outlined in the SMR Action plan is a highly skilled, safety-focused, diverse and productive workforce. For Canada to be a world leader in SMR generation, a skilled and agile workforce is the life-line. EHRC’s commitment to the Statement of Principles is to support all Team Canada members to develop a strong, competitive Canadian electricity generation economy through skills identification and resource development.
EHRC’s Interest and Motivation for Engagement on SMRs
EHRC recognizes and supports the nuclear energy sector. In particular, our Competency Framework and National Occupational Standards Project (funded by the ESDC Sectoral Initiatives Program) is currently taking a deep-dive into identifying and mapping the skills and knowledge requirements of non-licensed nuclear operators currently working in three of Canada’s largest nuclear power sites (collaboration with Bruce Power, OPG – Nuclear, and NB Power).
By identifying the competencies used by non-licensed operators in Common Services, Reactor Units and Fuel Handling, we are providing the industry with a current snapshot of the requirements for safe, efficient and skilled practice as nuclear-power sites. As a benchmark of proficient practice, these competencies can serve as the basis for mapping the skills and knowledge requirements required for practitioners working to commission, install, maintain and service SMRs, identifying both transitional skills as well as new skills unique to SMRs.
The main goal of our Competency Framework project is in alignment with the Statement of Principles in the following ways:
- Competencies are developed by industry and for industry (i.e. by current job incumbents and industry stakeholders) who have the most accurate and detailed knowledge and experience of essential job requirements. These individuals have their ‘boots on the ground,’ which is integral to identifying and mapping skills requirements.
- Our research activities aim to engage and support diverse groups. We use a holistic approach to demonstrate this commitment, integrating our various project resources and objectives to provide wrap-around supports for attraction, recruitment and retention of diverse talent.
- Our goal is to be the source of the most current and cutting edge research, and we are consistently developing thought-papers and conducting LMI studies to identify trends and technologies in their infancy and to proactively identify how these trends and technologies will impact the current workplace from a skills and organizational planning standpoint. We pride ourselves in being thought-leaders for the industry.
- The success of our competency framework project has hinged upon our collaboration and consultation with various stakeholders that have ranged from job incumbents to government departments and officials. Similar to the SMR action plan, we recognize that moving forward requires collaboration and insights from all partners and stakeholders.
The introduction of SMRs into our power grid will spark the need for identifying the competencies (i.e. skills and knowledge) required to ensure the production of safe, reliable and simple nuclear power. Our mandate of supporting a highly-skilled, productive, safety focused and diverse workforce will support the deployment and management of SMRs in Canada.
EHRC’s Role in the SMR Ecosystem and Vision for ‘Team Canada’
Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) is a non-profit organization supporting the human resources needs of the Canadian electricity and renewable energy sector. We are a values-driven organization, committed to the improvement of our sector, the growth of Canada’s economy, and the stability of our power grid. Our core values are:
- Collaboration: Working with all stakeholders in Canada’s electricity sector for our mutual benefit.
- Trust: Forging relationships and products built on unwavering integrity.
- Innovation: Leading the industry to be future-ready
In this vein, we view our role as being a convener to support the SMR ecosystem. We have the capacity to support collaboration and consultation regarding the skills-requirements of individuals who will be supporting the implementation, monitoring, maintenance, and servicing of SMRs in place. Underpinning the success of any initiative is a skilled workforce to support technology – identifying skills and enhancing capacity is where EHRC shines.
EHRC’s vision is to keep the lights on in Canada by preparing and empowering a world-class workforce for the entire electricity industry. We work to strengthen the ability of the Canadian electricity industry in meeting current and future needs for their workforce – one that is safety focused, highly skilled, diverse and productive.
In order for ‘Team Canada’ to engage international partners to capitalize on opportunities related to SMR (including export, influence of standards and investment, policy and regulation development, etc.), a wide range of expertise and capacity is required to demonstrate Canada as a leader in nuclear energy. EHRC will support Team Canada through our three main activities: research, resource development and consultation and collaboration. We are proven conveners of partners and consistently engage in research that is linked directly to human resource needs and economic factors. Our strength is conducting just-in-time and proactive research to support the changing world of work. As such, EHRC can serve as a pivotal member of Team Canada.
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
SMR Competency Development
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 5
Identify the competencies (i.e. skills and knowledge) that are required by front-line workers who are working directly with SMRs on-site (e.g. commissioning, maintaining, servicing).
Conduct secondary research to gather and analyze sources of information regarding skills and performance requirements of personnel working on SMRs on-site.
Conduct a gap analysis to determine which nuclear-specific competencies within our existing framework apply to SMRs and identify new competencies that require development.
With a range of subject matter experts, develop competencies specific to SMR – SMEs will include current job incumbents, trainers, labour, etc.
Use the competencies (existing and newly developed) to develop skills profiles to outline various functions and jobs associated with SMRs on location.
Using the skills profiles, work with under represented groups (i.e. community-serving organizations, employment service providers, governments, Indigenous communities, etc.) to develop pathways for skills mapping, reskilling and upskilling opportunities to enhance presentation of diverse talent in the workforce in relation to SMRs.
Competencies required for various occupations/functions related to SMRs.
Skills profiles to provide a benchmark of skills and knowledge requirements (i.e. Competencies).
Networks and collaborations with partners (i.e. employment services, community serving organizations, diversity organizations, Indigenous communities) to develop career pathways to transition diverse workers into the SMR workforce.
Continued communication of the opportunities of the nuclear industry, in particular SMRs.