Oil and gas industry looking to fill 9,500 jobs by 2015: Report

Growth in operations, age-related attrition contributing factors
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/30/2012

Canada's oil and gas industry will need to fill a minimum of 9,500 jobs by 2015, according to a report released by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada.

Between now and 2015, Canada's oil and gas industry is at risk of losing about three per cent of its workforce overall due to persistently low natural gas prices. However, two primary factors — growth in certain operations and age-related attrition across the industry — will offset most job losses and contribute to increased overall hiring needs, according to Canada's Oil and Gas Labour Market Outlook to 2015.

Changes in the number of jobs will not be equal across all industry sectors. For example, the oil and gas services sector, although impacted by commodity price volatility, will still need to fill about 5,400 jobs between 2012 and 2015. The exploration and production (E&P) sector, hardest hit by prolonged low natural gas prices, may see some workforce contraction but will also experience skill and experience gaps as it loses workers due to retirements and turnover, especially for industry-specific roles, said the report.

By 2015, employment in the oilsands sector is projected to increase by 29 per cent over 2011 levels, or about 5,850 jobs. The pipeline sector will add about 530 jobs over the same period. Both sectors will also need to do significant hiring to replace retiring workers and for turnover.

"This is a complex labour story," said Cheryl Knight, executive director and CEO of the Petroleum HR Council. "Hiring will increase, but total number of jobs will remain relatively flat. Certain sectors and operations will add jobs, while others will lose some positions. And employee turnover is the wild card that could have recruiters working to fill hundreds of additional job openings over the next four years."

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