The oil sands industry in Alberta, Canada is the largest employer of federal skilled workers in the country. The industry is therefore initiating a specific focus on developing a stronger Canada skilled worker labour force. The oil sands industry is working to enhance its “labour availability, including workforce mobility, skilled trades training, and apprenticeship opportunities”. Its interest is in ensuring that they have the skilled labourers they need to propel the industry’s growth and to move the Canadian economy forward.
One solution to this problem is getting people into the Canadian workforce that are currently underrepresented. One of the main ways in which this can occur is undoubtedly going to involve immigration. Canada’s oilsands industry provides hundreds of millions of work hours annually to Canadian’s and to the country’s immigrant population.
The oilsands industry will be Canada’s skilled trade’s epicentre, delivering good paying jobs, the next generation of skilled trades people, and growth to the country’s economy. This new focus on behalf of the Canadian oilsands industry and trade union groups will promote careers in skilled trades while working with governments on initiatives to improve workforce availability, as the country’s skilled labour shortage is one of the primary challenges that will threaten the viability of the energy sector in the future. One of the ways in which this problem will be solved is to increase both permanent immigration and to make more of Canada’s temporary work permits available for prospective immigrants.
By 2014, the Alberta government estimates that approximately 16 per cent of its construction workforce will need to be replaced and is calling for immigration Canada to promote Canadian immigration programs, including but not limited to skilled worker Canada, permanent resident Canada and temporary resident permit Canada programs.