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Oil and gas sector labour shortages won't be easily filled

A pumpjack does its work in the Mountain View County area of Alberta on Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Photo by Chelsey Harms/660 NEWS)

Canada is experiencing one of its largest ever labour shortages and more than 30,000 of those unfilled positions in Q3 this year were in Alberta.

That carries over to the much maligned oil and gas sector but not necessarily because there is huge growth, the new realities of the sector may be having an impact.

Jason Edwards, VP of the David Aplin Group Calgary, told CityNews some former employees are still a little nervous about heading back.

“Some of the workers that were in the field in oil and gas, they’re used to making higher levels of compensation than are available now and some of them are actually, quite frankly, a little jilted from the downturn as well so they’re not necessarily in the same kind of rush to get back to that kind of work as they were previously,” he said.

There are a couple other factors as well.

Roles are either very technical, so employers are having trouble finding qualified employees while some companies are running into the opposite problem; They’re offering entry level jobs that don’t pay as well as potential applicants expect.