Alberta’s labour crisis back… with a vengeance (Guest Commentary)

Integrated resourcing, competitive benefits, mentoring just a few ways to attract talent
By Brad Beveridge and Mark Hopkins
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/11/2011

It’s hard to pick up a newspaper in Alberta and not see a headline that reads “Labour shortage.” Alberta’s energy industry, particularly on the oil side, is ramping up once again. While that’s good news for Alberta and the Canadian economy, the shortage of skilled labour (which never really went away) has returned as one of the most pressing business issues in the province.

The oil and gas industry, in particular, is already seeing a critical shortage of skilled workers that, if not dealt with soon, will start to cause production delays and the postponement or abandonment of multimillion-dollar projects, which would have significant implications for Alberta business growth and the Canadian economy.

With more than $100 billion worth of capital projects on the books over the next decade throughout Alberta, employers need to find 77,000 new employees by 2020. Additionally, 190,000 Alberta workers are expected to retire over the next decade, creating a staggering human capital deficit that could reach up to 100,000 workers.