Workforce Challenges Persist Within the Oil and Gas Industry

May 30, 2013

Ten-Year Hiring Estimates Between 125,000 to 150,000 Across Canada Canada is facing significant challenges in the availability of skills and talent required to meet the workforce needs of Canada’s oil and gas industry over the next ten years, according to a report released today by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada. “The Decade Ahead: Labour Market Outlook to 2022 for Canada’s Oil and Gas Industry” presents information about the workforce requirements of the oil and gas industry for all sectors and provinces. It calls on industry, government and educators to work together to build the pool of talent needed to sustain production and development. “The stakes are high,” said Cheryl Knight, Executive Director of the Council. “A sustainable oil and gas industry is in the best interests of Canada and all Canadians. The benefits to direct and indirect employment, as well as to the economy, are significant,” she said. “For every job created in our industry, three more are created in other areas of the economy,” said Knight. “Our report estimates that by 2022, the oil and gas industry will sustain between 900,000 and 1 million jobs across Canada,” she said. Only 20 per cent will be direct jobs in oil and gas; almost half will be indirect jobs in industries like construction, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing; and the rest will be “induced” jobs driven by the spending and service needs of direct and indirect industry workers. “A full 20 per cent of these jobs will be in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, and Nova Scotia,” she said. The report analysed two potential industry activity scenarios: a low growth scenario in which market diversification does not occur; and an expansion scenario in which Canadian suppliers succeed in gaining access to a range of international markets. “Only the rate of workforce growth is affected,” said Knight. Direct industry employment in 2012 is estimated at over 195,200, up 10 per cent from 2009. Depending on the industry activity scenario, direct employment over the next decade will increase between nine and 20 per cent, with employment levels reaching from 213,500 to as high as 233,900 by 2022. “As many as 38,700 new positions may need to be filled,” said Knight, “or as few as 18,300. The difference in job creation between the two scenarios is approximately 20,000 new jobs. “But to achieve this workforce growth, the industry will actually need to find between 125,000 and 150,000 new workers by 2022,” said Knight. “This is because while the industry is growing, it will also be losing workers to retirements and turnover,” she said. The hiring outlook estimates approximately 45,000 workers will be lost to age-related attrition. With a large workforce of approximately 200,000, three per cent annual turnover results in an additional 6,000 hires a year. “The result is that labour shortages will persist throughout the coming decade, in either scenario,” said Knight. “Skill shortages are critical and every sector will be affected. There are not enough workers with the needed experience and qualifications,” she said. The oil and gas services sector will have the largest requirement, needing between 37,700 to 47,900 new employees. The oil sands sector will need between 14,900 to 22,200 new employees, conventional E&P between 6,850 to 10,700, and pipelines from 3,000 to 3,250. “With this workforce situation, it is clear that the oil and gas industry is able to offer Canadians good, secure, and well-compensated careers and employment opportunities for the foreseeable future,” said Knight. But industry, government and educators need to collaborate and act,” she said. “Connecting Canadians with available jobs should be a top priority. But we also need to look at accessing labour in provinces with high unemployment; looking at under-employed groups, Aboriginals, new grads, youth and new Canadians; enhancing mobility of transferable skills and qualifications; building more effective and efficient education, training and apprenticeship programs; and utilizing the temporary foreign worker and immigration programs where appropriate, such as for shorter-term assignments and industry-specific occupations,” said Knight. “The pool of workers must be increased if Canada is to have a sustainable industry,” she said. The report also recommends efforts to improve and increase energy literacy and career awareness across Canada, and committing to ongoing dialogue and action in the development of innovative workforce solutions. “This report presents the changing national dynamics of Canada’s growing oil and gas industry,” said Knight. The goal of the Council is to help both industry and Canadians understand and respond to workforce needs across the country,” she said. Effective April 1st, 2013, the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada became part of Enform Canada. The Council is the primary resource to address workforce development and labour market issues in the Canadian petroleum industry. Funding in part by Government of Canada and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. For all media inquiries: Rowena Sampang Senior Advisor, Marketing and Communications Email: Tel: 403-516-8145