Western thirst for skilled labour

Expansion in the Alberta oilsands, 2010 Vancouver Olympics, new uranium mines, massive hydroelectric dam fuelling growth
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/28/2004

At the epicentre of a looming Western Canada building boom, Finning Canada won’t have to worry about a shortage of business opportunities in the next few years. It may, however, face a shortage of workers.

Finning, which sells and services Caterpillar-brand heavy equipment, needs to find about 300 heavy-equipment technicians by 2007 due to retirements and new contracts arising from the many “mega” projects already underway or just over the horizon in Western Canada. (Finning currently has about 830 heavy-equipment technicians.)

The ongoing expansion in the Alberta oilsands, preparation for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the development of two new uranium mines in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba Hydro’s Wuskwatim dam project will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.