Keeping Canada's power on will require 20,000 new workers by 2022

Canada's electricity providers say they need to appeal to a younger and more diverse workforce if they're going to keep the country's lights on.

A report on the industry's labour needs from Electricity Human Resources Canada suggests more than 20,000 new workers will be needed before 2022.

Almost 107,000 people are employed in the industry in Canada.

And, currently it is not as diverse as Canada as whole -- with women accounting for one in four employees and visible minorities just over one in 10.

It's also older than average -- workers under 25 account for fewer than one in 20 people.

Most of the new workers will be needed to replace the aging workforce, but the industry is also expanding as demand for power grows.

Michelle Branigan, CEO of Electricity Human Resources Canada, says the future workforce is also going to have to be able to work on digital technologies that are transforming the sector at a rate it has never before seen.

Failing to address this critical demand for workers, she says, runs the risk that Canada's power systems will become less reliable.