The Sustainable Jobs Plan released today by the Federal Government goes a long way to realise the goals Iron & Earth has been advocating for since our inception.
When Iron & Earth was formed around the lunchroom tables in Fort McMurray in 2015 the goal was to ensure a fair and equitable transition for workers enduring yet another bust in the never ending boom bust cycle of the oil and gas sector. Just as importantly, the founding members of the organization saw the writing on the wall. A looming climate crisis that needed solutions and the workers to make those solutions happen.
The Sustainable Jobs Plan released today by the Federal Government goes a long way to realise the goals we have been advocating for since then.
The plan keeps workers at the heart of the energy sector no matter where the energy comes from. Wind, solar, hydrogen, geothermal, or yes, even the oil and gas sector as it makes its own transition to net-zero. At the same time the plan provides incentives to develop renewable infrastructure to meet its climate goals and keep Canada competitive in the global energy market.
Like Iron & Earth, the Sustainable Jobs Plan uses a worker-and-people-centred approach to ensure that the renewable energy transition is equitable, fair, and inclusive. Those people and workers come from everywhere in Canada from remote and Indigenous communities to small towns to big cities. The plan includes measures for the upskilling and reskilling programs which prioritize Indigenous workers and communities who face additional barriers. A goal we weave into our initiatives and we support all efforts to remove those barriers.
The drive to curb climate change around the world will mean there will be a shortage of workers for an abundance of sustainable or renewable energy jobs. The plan works towards filling that gap and Iron & Earth is poised to play a role in supporting workers ready to move into decent, well-paying, high quality jobs that can support them and their families.
Iron & Earth understands the need for sustainable jobs and that is why we are rapidly expanding our work and funding sources to train workers for renewable energy jobs while providing the infrastructure for solar and wind power generation.
As our Executive Director, Luisa Da Silva noted, "With growing demand in the renewables sector for skilled workers, it is critical that Canada invests in our energy future and ensures that our energy needs will be met. All forecasts point to a growing demand for skilled workers in Canada's energy sector. The plan released today ensures that workers who have experienced unemployment or underemployment and encountered barriers to participation, can finally have sustainable job opportunities. The Sustainable Jobs Plan gives them the supports they need so no one gets left behind".
Change can only be achieved through action and we applaud the measures outlined in the Sustainable Jobs Plan.
For more information or to arrange an interview:
Director of External Relations
Iron & Earth