Shortage of educated workers threatens oilsands expansion

February 22, 2012

A massive shortage of educated workers has cast a cloud over expansion in Canada's oilsands sector, according to a memo sent to the clerk of the Privy Council Office, the administrative arm of the Prime Minister's Office. The memo notes the poor environment reputation of the oil-and-gas industry is alienating minority groups from joining a workforce that could need up to 100,000 new workers by 2020 to meet rising demand. "Compounding this challenge is the pace of technology and the length of time it takes for employees to develop expertise in their field," says the memo, which notes that "there is a demonstrated need for improved skills and knowledge among new recruits." The memo states that remote location of the oilsands, along with the seasonal work periods, discouraged recruitment efforts from being successful. Postmedia News