Oil and gas industry facing labour shortages

100,000 new workers needed to replace aging workforce and fill new projects: Report

The economy may only just be beginning to recover but the oil and gas industry will need more than 100,000 new workers over the next decade, according to a new report.

“The rebound in the economy means the industry will need more workers, and it will need them fast,” said Cheryl Knight, executive director and CEO of the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada (Petroleum HR Council).

Even during the economic downturn, the oil and gas industry has remained a major employer in Western Canada and across the country, she said.

According to the Petroleum HR Council’s Supply/Demand Analysis 2009-2020 report, more than 100,000 workers will be needed over the next 10 years to support new oil and gas activity and replace retiring workers.

Of those, approximately 65,000 will be in the industry’s core occupations, such as engineers, trades, operators and field workers.

The report, which uses industry-generated oil and gas market information to project medium- and long-term labour market information to 2020, found an aging workforce and new activity in the industry are the major reasons behind the shortage.

“While the industry is still in recovery and stabilizing in 2010, workers will be needed in some of the industry’s core occupations in 2011 and across the industry as a whole in 2012, when labour supply falls short of employment requirements,” said Knight.

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