03 January 2008

Canada's oilsands industry needs a 'huge influx of workers'

The Canadian oilsands industry will spend up to C$110 billion on projects in the next few years, according to a survey. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says a huge influx of skilled workers with Canadian visas will be needed to keep the programme on track.

Engineers and tradespeople such as pipefitters, pressure welders and insulators are particularly in demand but skilled construction tradespeople and supervisors may also find their skills transferable to the oilsands industry if they are considering Canadian immigration.

The CAPP survey found that in the five year period from 2007 to 2011 there is 70 per cent more investment scheduled than the amount spent on new projects in the ten years from 1996 to 2006. CAPP's figures indicate a crunch period is coming in either 2009 or 2010 in terms of equipment, materials and skilled workers.

"Unless something radical happens, it's impossible for the work to be done on schedule," commented Herb Holmes, a manager for Construction Labour Relations in Edmonton. "By radical, I mean for example a huge influx of workers. Also needed would be tools, machining equipment, engineers. We are seeing shortages now and we are not yet at the peak."

Canada needs skilled construction workers: The Canadian Visa Bureau can assist skilled workers interested in Canadian immigration. More information on Canadian visas is available on the website. Anyone applying for a Canadian visa should begin by completing the online Canadian visa application to see if they meet the legislative requirements.

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