CALGARY - The three-year race to find a new generation of skilled oil and gas workers is on.
No fewer than 9,500 jobs will need to be filled by 2015, according to a report by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, released Tuesday.
A nosedive in the industry a few years ago, and the resulting turnover, is the main reason for the upcoming vacant position, as is the mass retirement of skilled baby boomers who had the knowledge and experience to stick around, explained Council CEO Cheryl Knight.
“It’s a growing and alarming experience gap,” said Knight. “We will be hard pressed to replace their skills and their knowledge.”
Total E&P vice-president Albert Elliot called it “a very significant number” and a “very significant challenge.”
But the Council has provided a roadmap with its report, he said, and Petroleum Services Association of Canada president Mark Salkeld agreed, saying “we’ve had challenges before and we’ll overcome them again, as always.”
According to the report, Canada’s oil and gas industry’s direct employment was 186,635 jobs in 2011, which breaks down to 87,087 for employment in services, 72,746 for exploration and production, 20,304 for oilsands jobs and 6,498 for pipeline jobs.
The Council’s projections do not look past 2015 due to expected projects and growth, and these numbers do not account for prospective plants and pipelines.
On Twitter: @SUNDamienWood