As Lorraine Mitchelmore rushed from a speaking engagement out into a hot June afternoon, the president and country chair of Shell Canada Ltd. paused to consider Alberta’s never-ending shortfall of skilled workers.
“There’s a decade of projects that we’ve got in front of us,” she said, standing in the lobby of Calgary’s Delta Hotel on June 11. They include a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) venture proposed for Canada’s West Coast, as well as an 80,000 to 90,000 barrel per day expansion at Shell’s Athabasca Oil Sands Project.
“We don’t want to end up thinking we’re going to get the resources the minute we need them,” she said. “That’s not going to happen, so we need to plan ahead.”
The latest figures compiled by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada suggest the country’s oil and gas sector could be short 3,400 workers in the next four years.
Less acknowledged, however, is the impact a labor-sapping global commodity boom is having on Alberta’s already thin supply of skilled workers. Losing just one per cent of the sector’s workforce to other industries or competing jurisdictions will create an additional 980 job vacancies between 2012 and 2015, the council reports.
In an interview, Mitchelmore casts the challenge as “a great opportunity for aboriginals and Canadians across provinces,” but she chafes at the suggestion that Canada, Alberta and the oil sands are on the losing side of what the McKinsey Global Institute calls a “global war for talent.”
Labour supply is the number-two concern of companies surveyed by Calgary Economic Development, says President and CEO Bruce Graham. Their number-one concern is the jittery world economy, but that’s a fret for the global pace of business that drives oil prices, rather than for the local economy. What business leaders most want is help to … Continue reading »
Shortages of skilled labour – in fact, any labour at all – in mining regions drives wages and salaries to stratospheric levels, in turn bidding up prices for accommodation, food and local services. This makes life very difficult for individuals and families who do not benefit directly from inflated incomes and yet also face inflated … Continue reading »
A fault line is splintering Canada’s labour market into those who can’t find work and those who can’t find workers. There’s no shortage of people looking for work. Some 1.4 million Canadians are unemployed, the jobless rate is still above pre-recession levels and youth unemployment is nearly 14 per cent. Despite this, employers across the … Continue reading »
News that oilsands recruiters have been appearing at British Columbia’s junior hockey games isn’t going over well with the resource sector on this side of the provincial border who are chasing the same pool of skilled workers. B.C.’s mining, forestry and energy sectors are expecting to need as many as 10,000 people over the next … Continue reading »
Remember the bumper sticker from the ‘80s, “Please God, let there be another oil boom. I promise not to piss it all away the next time.” That, of course, was two booms ago. Now we are on the cusp, the very beginning of the third. We seem to be getting smarter at this, but not … Continue reading »
Alberta business groups demand action on labour shortage – Calgary – CBC News A coalition of Alberta business groups is calling on the federal and provincial governments to work with industry to address labour shortages in western Canada. “Every sector of the economy will be hit hard by a shortage of workers,” said coalition spokesperson … Continue reading »
The Canadian Skills Shortage: Keeping Tradespeople Employed for the Foreseeable Future – MarketWatch
The current challenge of all major industrial manufacturers in Canada is the shortage of skilled workers with the right experience. Research conducted by the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress, (CSTEC) underscores this challenge in the broader Steel Sector. With a very high value-add per employee, when compared to the rest of manufacturing, the broader …Continue reading »