Labour availability a top issue

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It’s all about people. The top issue on the minds of Canada’s oil & gas executives is labour availability, and HR professionals in the sector are struggling to find the skilled workers that will become tomorrow's leaders, according to a new report.

A new report from Ernst & Young, Human resources in Canada's oil and gas sector, found that 47% of Canada’s leading oil & gas companies consider labour availability to be the most important issue facing the industry.

 “With the Alberta government predicting a shortage of at least 77,000 workers within the next decade, companies can't afford to be idle when it comes to attracting and retaining talent,” said Lance Mortlock, senior manager in Ernst & Young's oil & gas practice, adding that a “perfect demographic storm” is on the way as companies face the full onslaught of increasing labour costs and severe worker shortages.

Survey respondents agreed that strategic recruitment, attracting talent, capability development and managing change are amongst the most important HR challenges to contend with.

Despite the concerns plaguing the industry, the oil & gas sector's recruitment strategies remain outdated.

According to Ernst & Young, companies need to think outside the box and start considering offshore and co-sourcing arrangements, collaborating with other companies and universities, developing more efficient processes and building long-term multi-year workforce plans.

“Now is the time for companies to challenge the status quo and consider new and different business operating models that focus on deeper industry collaboration on non-strategic services,” Mortlock said.

By sharing skills, talent and costs through project sequencing, joint ventures and partnerships, companies will likely be better placed to maximize available resources and respond to talent issues collectively by generating a common labour pool.

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