Ottawa, April 14, 2021— Quebec has emerged as a significant player in the Canadian electric vehicle (EV) industry, with expanding ability to compete internationally. New jobs and skills will be needed along with workforce development solutions, training, reskilling, and upskilling.

This ICTC report, Recharging Quebec’s Transport Sector, published with contributions from Propulsion Québec, the cluster for electric and smart transportation, details the current and future labour demand and the skills needed within Quebec’s EV industry.

Aligned with the Quebec government’s 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, Quebec has made the electrification of the transportation sector a major priority. Quebec’s strength in EV commercial vehicle market—garbage trucks, school buses, heavy equipment, and utility vehicles—is spurring the growth of technical roles like mechanical and electrical engineers, full stack developers, embedded software developers, and machine learning specialists, along with various emerging roles.

But growing automation and digitization, which are central to EV production, significantly impact the labour force, bring about the contraction of jobs in traditional internal combustion engine vehicles production.

While Quebec’s EV leaders hold an optimistic labour market outlook and are mobilizing the development of training programs to upskill or reskill their workforce, the province’s ability to effectively respond to changing workforce demands will be key to maintaining its competitive edge.

“Technological advancements, environmental concerns, as well as higher fuel costs are accelerating the adoption of EVs throughout the entire global transportation value chain. Advancements in this space are also opening the door for skilled digital workers to participate in a highly innovative and fast growth sector that is destined to create a multiplicity of employment prospects in EVs and supporting infrastructures. Developing and harnessing the full potential of talent will be critical to continue to position Quebec’s competitive advantage in this rapidly evolving landscape.” —Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.

“It is no surprise; the electrification of transportation represents one of our best options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Québec. With industry change comes workforce evolution and changing realities and needs. Growing automation and digitization have significant impacts on the labor force. To ensure the growth of our industry in Quebec and elsewhere, it is essential to develop, train and support a qualified workforce. This means new jobs must be created and many existing workers with transferable skills have to shift in order to aid the transition. To address the issue, Propulsion Québec developed En route, the career hub in electric and smart transportation, an initiative to help shine a light on the electric and smart ground transportation industry and attract new talent to create a qualified electric and smart transportation (EST) workforce in the province. The electric and smart transition of Quebec’s economy is at the heart of our priorities. Therefore, we are pleased to have collaborated with ICTC in the realization of this important study.” – Sarah Houde, CEO of Propulsion Québec.

About ICTC

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 30 years.

About Propulsion Québec

Propulsion Québec, the cluster for electric and smart transportation, catalyzes the entire sector around joint projects with the objective of positioning Quebec among the world leaders in developing and implementing smart and electric modes of ground transportation, for the benefit of Quebec’s economy and environment. Created in 2017, as of January 2022 Propulsion Québec supports more than 250 members, from startups to large companies, including Quebec institutions, research centres and mobility operators, and deploys its resources across six distinct working groups to develop and support innovative projects. The cluster receives financial support from the Government of Quebec, the Government of Canada, Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), AttriX, Desjardins Group, Fasken, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Hydro-Québec, and Québecor.

To arrange an interview on this study or other media inquiries, please contact ICTC’s Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

To connect with Propulsion Québec regarding this study, please contact Marie-Christine Labonté PR & Communications Project Lead, Propulsion Québec at [email protected] or 514.966.6414.

This Information and Communications Technology Council study was done with contributions from Propulsion Québec and funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

A French language press release of this report is here.

Researched and written by Alexandra Cutean (Chief Research Officer), Rob Davidson (Director, Data Science), Maya Watson (Research & Policy Analyst), Edward Hale (Junior Research Analyst), Bingjie Xiao (Junior Data Scientist), and guest authors Melissa Felder and Matthias Oschinski, with generous support from Simon Pillarella (Skilled Labour & Financing, Propulsion Québec), and Julie Perreault-Henry (Project Lead, Propulsion Québec).

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