Canadian Oil Sands Projects Continue to Vie for Skilled Talent

Meeting Future Workforce Demands

As with all oil and gas operations in every country, attrition has the potential to drive a significant number of job openings over the next decade, the report stated. More than 37,500 construction skilled workers and 6,400 oil sand operations in Alberta could be lost due to retirements over the next decade.

“To enhance the supply of skilled workers, oil sands employers will continue recruiting workers from across Canada and abroad, improve productivity through advances in procurement and training and the use of fabrication facilities and modular assembly yards, and by providing career development and succession planning programs that shorten learning curves,” said Carla Campbell-Ott, executive director of the Council.

Collaborative action is required to increase the workforce and address labor requirements, the report noted. The report listed initiatives aimed at enhancing the supply of skilled workers to support the future hiring needs of oil sands construction and operations.

These include:

  • Attracting and retaining workforce groups that are under-represented in the construction and oil sands operations sectors.
  • Recruiting workers from across Canada and internationally to augment local labor supply.
  • Improving productivity through training and through the use of fabrication facilities and modular assembly yards.
  • Investing in talent management, including career development and succession planning programs and competence-based programs to assist with shortening the “time to productivity” for new hires.


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