Booming Canadian Oilfields Seek British and Irish Workers

Alberta, Canada has a labor shortage. Today Alberta’s economy is on a roll, with the oil industry in full throttle. There are currently over 114,000 open positions in the skilled labor and trades. Local Canadians are unable to fill them all. There is too much work for the population in this area.

An Issue of Supply

Calgary Economic Development, a government organization that supports economic development in Canada, has been leading delegations of Alberta corporations into countries with too many workers but not enough employment.

Last year, at a single event called Working Abroad Expo, the turnout in Dublin was unbelievable. Over the three day event well over 14,000 people who were willing to move to Canada for a new career showed up. On the first day alone, the line of hopeful job applicants was lined up around the corner.

Many Canadian companies feel these workers are the perfect fit. They speak the same language and share many of the same cultural traditions. Assimilation is far easier for them than it would be for others.

A Demand for Workers

Jobless rates in Alberta are very low at a 4.3 percent. In the United Kingdom the jobless rates are higher, at a steady 7.6 percent. In the Republic of Ireland they are even higher. Jobless rates are at a crushing 13.3 percent. There is just no local work in the British Isles, no matter how hard a seeker looks. But in the booming oil fields, there is more work than workers.

Legal Challenges

Several Canadian labor organizations have questioned the practice of searching overseas for employees. As a result, the process has been slowed down to give native Canadians precedence. Even so, there are just not enough Canadian workers to fill all of the positions.

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An Employee’s Market

Skilled staff shortages in key industries are just expected to get worse over the next few years. Large reserves of oil and gas are set to be tapped in the coming years. This means that the proper infrastructure must be built from the ground up in often remote locations. The local population simply does not have the skilled hands to fulfill the demand.

Immigrants who come to work often find that companies will try to out bid each other for their services. High wages are just part of the packages they offer. Some companies offer free flights, free housing and board and great vacation packages. All in all, immigration to Alberta is great for both the employer and employee.