GLOBE Foundation

Alberta`s oil sands projected to grow its workforce by a staggering 73 per cent by 2021


Source: GLOBE Foundation

Calgary, AB -- Alberta's oil sands, which employed just over 20,000 workers in 2011, is projected to grow its workforce by a staggering 73 per cent by 2021, according to a new report released by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada (Petroleum HR Council).

The report, Oil Sands Labour Market Outlook to 2021, states that some oil sands operations and occupations are forecasted to add over 100 per cent of their current workforce by 2021.

The Petroleum HR Council's outlook provides oil sands labour demand projections and analysis based on data for 55 core occupations within three facility/operation types: in situ, mining and upgrading.

The outlook describes how technological changes, as well as shifts in the regulatory and business environments, are impacting how the oil sands sector does business and what types of workers are required. For example, employment within in situ operations will experience the greatest growth, driving a number of emerging occupations and an increased reliance on the oil and gas support services workforce. Increased mining and upgrading activities will also contribute to the sector's employment growth.

'Demand for more workers is being driven primarily by growth in the sector, however our research tells us that the supply of skilled workers remains very tight.Going forward, age-related attrition and competition from other industries will further escalate labour and skills shortages faced by the sector. In fact, the sector may need to hire 116 per cent of its current employment levels due to industry expansion, retirements and turnover.'

Oil Sands Labour Market Outlook to 2021 also states industry will be challenged to manage workforce costs in this employee-driven labour market. The oil sands sector will have to give considerable thought to effective and efficient strategies to work with the construction, maintenance and oil and gas support services sectors, which are critical to the growth and sustainability of oil sands operations.

Major capital projects for the sector are definitely impacting the future workforce needs for oil sands operations. In addition to labour demand projections and analysis, Oil Sands Labour Market Outlook to 2021 report contains a list of major projects expected to be operational by 2016 that will contribute to the sector's workforce requirements.

Additionally, the report includes summary tables and charts, detailed appendices, executive summary and a concise fact sheet. This study was funded by the Government of Alberta.

Customer comments

  1. By John Clark on

    The article implies the workforce will remain static after the construction stage and, that never happens. The projections take us well beyond the next election which is what its all about I think. As it is now, there are more Americans working in Alberta's oil industry than Albertans! While this is going on we collect nothing for royalty with the Government saying they are going to do away with the flat tax and move towards the incremental tax base. No royalty means we, the province are loosing 400 million a year on royalty that should be ours. The graduated tax scheme Republican style will mean the oil companies take a cut in taxes while small, middle sized businesses and individuals work under the burden of tax increases! Certainly people have to rethink who they are going to vote for. If Albertan's continue to vote the same way every time, they have to reason to expect a different outcome!