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Transitioning to Jobs in the Clean Economy: From High-Risk Occupations to Green Careers

One in five Canadian employees works at a job that’s vulnerable to automation. The clean economy is a rapid-growth sector that needs workers. Is there a way to solve for both?

Document highlights

  • Technological innovations are threatening jobs in many sectors. But with the right amount of training, transition paths exist from high-risk, low-mobility (HRLM) jobs into rapid-growth jobs in the clean economy—those that align more closely with the future direction of the Canadian economy. Encouraging and preparing workers to follow those paths will be key near-term challenges for educational institutions, career counsellors, and funding agencies alike.
  • In From Low-Mobility to Rapid-Growth Jobs, we see that with only one year of training, almost 58 per cent of possible transition paths are both feasible and desirable. Opening the next 42 per cent of paths, however, is more difficult, as even assuming three years of training the proportion of feasible and desirable paths comes in at 79.5 per cent. Potential transition paths and the cost of training and foregone wages also vary significantly across the country. Workers will need support and guidance to make the jump.

Key findings

With only one year of retraining, almost 58 per cent of possible transition paths are both feasible and desirable (i.e., meeting all three of the criteria above)—more than doubling the options made available with only six months of retraining.

Potential transition paths are not distributed evenly across the country, and the cost of transition varies significantly from province to province.

Clean economy transition paths for almost all occupations in the High-Risk, Low-Mobility (HRLM) category not only exist, but they may well be made feasible with as little as one year of training effort.