Canada's oil and natural gas industry supports federal budget measures announced yesterday to foster growth and development of Canada's future skilled trades workforce, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said today.
"Our industry is the largest employer of skilled trades workers in Canada so we strongly support government measures to promote careers in this sector," said Dave Collyer, CAPP president.
"Meeting the labour requirements of a growing economy is crucial to the oil and gas industry, particularly in the oil sands and for plans now under consideration to build a liquefied natural gas industry in British Columbia."
Worker shortages have inflationary implications, including cost increases for construction projects and increased project execution risk, and could impact the private sector's ability to attract investment.
Over the next decade, total hiring needs for direct oil and gas jobs in Canada will range between 125,000 and 150,000 jobs - both professionals and skilled trades - as a result of forecast industry activity, retirements and turnover, says the Petroleum HR Council of Canada.
Canada's Construction Sector Council estimates a need to recruit 246,000 new construction workers to meet construction sector expansion demand and to replace retiring workers between 2013 and 2021.
Given the number of highly skilled, well-paying jobs in the oil and gas industry, skilled labour groups are among the strongest supporters of responsible oil sands development and associated pipeline transportation projects.
CAPP works with union and non-union labour groups on initiatives to improve labour availability, including workforce mobility, skilled trades training and apprenticeship opportunities, and immigration.
"We believe in hiring Canadians first, attracting and recruiting within Canada, and building and developing the current and future workforce. We need to attract more Canadians into the skilled trades, provide more classroom and employment-based training opportunities, improve incentives to move within Canada for work, and as needed, increase both permanent and temporary immigration," Collyer said.