Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Feb 14, 2020

Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

We are in an Age of Disruption. Extant and emerging technologies are driving significant evolution in the way work is done across all sectors of Canada’s economy and no industry, including electricity, will be immune.

Think of the technologies and businesses that have changed the way we live, work and connect with each other. Uber. Airbnb. Spotify. Facebook. Twitter. Duolingo. The list is long and what’s fascinating is that these are companies that did not exist 20 years ago. Yet these are common words in our lexicon today. For those of us who still miss Blockbuster (okay, guilty), it has been a sometimes jarring experience to see long established giants go by the wayside due to their failure to innovate.

In the electricity sector smart grids, cyber security, privacy concerns, automation, carbon capture and storage, and the electrification of transportation are just a few drivers and technologies that are reshaping the industry’s landscape and moving the goalposts for workforce development at the same time.

While automation and artificial intelligence (AI) may eliminate very few occupations completely in the next decade, it will affect portions of almost all jobs to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the type of work they entail and the variability of tasks.

Anticipating the impacts of these changes is not always easy, be it as an employer, an educator or a policy maker. But it is vital that employers — and employees — are aware of how these changes will affect the demand for workers in the sector, how jobs will be impacted and the skills profiles and training requirements of future workers in the sector. We know from our research that the electricity sector of tomorrow will require workers with strong digital and data analysis skills. Yet according to EHRC’s latest report, [IT]Work Transformed[IT], most workers in the sector have only slightly or somewhat developed digital skills. Whether their jobs will be displaced or transformed by technology, workers will require some new training or upskilling to adapt to new requirements. Although many people are concerned that jobs will disappear as a result of automation and AI (and in some cases they will), the reality is that some innovations will create entirely new jobs that did not exist before.

Both employers and employees have a role in ensuring workers have the skills need to succeed. Organizations need to be prepared to adapt the change, and that means asking questions about organizational structure, competition and their willingness to innovate. Nobody wants to be the next Kodak.

Are you ready? Here are some of the question you need to ask yourself:

  • What are the technological changes that will affect my sector?
  • What will be the effect of these changes? 
  • How will new technologies change labour demand? Will I be able to access the workforce I need? Do I need to invest in training for my current workforce? What are their specific skills and how will they need to evolve? How do I compete for top talent?
  • When are these changes expected to occur? 
  • What is my skill set? Will I be impacted in my role as a result of new tech brought into the company? Am I ready to upskill or retrain?

While there is still much debate in this industry as to how quickly the sector will evolve, I would position that the time to act is now. Waiting to see how things will “play out” is not an option. As Geoffrey Chaucer so sagely wrote, “Time and tide wait for no man.” Let’s add technology to that list.

Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada.

How to select the Best Protection against Surge



Schneider ElectricEvery household requires Surge Protection Devices to protect plug strips and all-important household appliances, from higher-level surge.

Join us on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 1:00PM ET, to find out how Surge Protection Devices can prevent damage to important household appliances by suppressing the surge, and how to select the right one!

Login/Register to your Electrician Portal for this free 30-minute webinar. Access to more learning sessions also available.  Login/Register Now

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EIN Rittal webinar 400Rittal is putting on a free webinar for their Canadian customers discussing how IoT enabled climate control solutions can help reduce energy costs by 75%. 

Time & Date: Tuesday, May 12 at 2PM EDT

Go HERE to register

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OntarioThe Ontario government has introduced grant funding for apprentices to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools. Which will be available later this year. The announcement also included support for laid off and unemployed hospitality workers.

The announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

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Worker RiskMany of us take risks in their daily lives, such as using our cell phone while driving or exceeding the speed limits, while fortunately avoiding any potential injury and damage. We are rewarded by a certain convenience when we take risks, such as apparent time savings as well as the tacit approval of observers who do not oppose our risky behaviour.

To reduce injuries in the workplace, we must all recognize that we are accepting certain risks on a daily basis and acknowledge the factors influencing risk tolerance.

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Product News

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Louis Poulsen Lamp SeriesIn 2020, Louis Poulsen and BIG Ideas present a comprehensive new lamp series, Keglen, especially characterised by its distinctive design as well as classic superior lighting quality.

The key pieces in the Keglen series are four pendants (Ø175), (Ø250), (Ø400) and (Ø650) that each provide their very own diffusion of light using a curved glass insert, which is built into and adapted to each version of the shade.

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“As the outdoor and industrial lighting segments continues to expand, Universal is focused on providing solutions that help our customers capture more market opportunities by increasing controllable options,” said Kevin Boyce Director of Product Management for Universal. “The PWX drivers are available with 12Vdc or 24Vdc auxiliary power for lighting applications with on-board sensors or radios.”

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The company supplies safety products, conduct safety inspections and tests, as well as service and repair safety products it. A company that educates and trains. A company that delivers every aspect of workplace safety to the employer and follows up to make those solutions easy to implement and sustain.

 

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