Canadian oil and gas industry optimistic about growth, anxious about skills shortages and its ability to attract next generation of professionals

Foreign skilled talent should become a priority to bridge gaps

TORONTO, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian oil and gas companies are being squeezed by skills shortages and a lack of young professionals entering the labour force threatening short and long-term growth prospects for an industry that is otherwise optimistic about its future. According to a 2013 Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide produced annually by expert recruiters Hays Oil & Gas and leading jobsite, Oil and Gas Job Search, more than half (54 per cent) of Canadian oil and gas employers cite "skills shortages" as a significant issue, and yet almost three-quarters (73 per cent) expect to increase hiring in the next 12 months.

Furthermore, fewer and fewer young Canadian professionals are entering the oil and gas labour force, a trend that is at odds with the rest of the world. Only 18 per cent of the current Canadian labour force is under 35 years old, while that same age group makes up 33 per cent of the world's oil and gas labour market. Canada has too many older employees - 42 per cent are between 35 and 49 years old,  and another 40 per cent are 50 years old and over.

"The Canadian oil and gas industry is watching its talent supply dry up," said Jim Fearon, Regional Director, Hays Canada. "A high volume of oil and gas employees are approaching retirement and without attracting a younger work force and addressing skills shortages this sector is facing major challenges to meet its growth potential. Having a robust strategy in place to tap into the global talent pool will be critical in the short term, and working on strategies to increase the level of home grown entrants into the industry is going to be vital in the medium to long term."

There isn't any one company or job type that will be impacted by these challenges more acutely than others - contractors, operators, oil field services, project managers, drilling engineers and estimators, it will affect them all equally.

The good news is that there is a high degree of market optimism in Canada and compensation packages are competitive. The 2013 Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide found that:

  • Market optimism: three-quarters (76%) of survey respondents are positive to very positive in confidence of the current market in Canada.
  • Local oil and gas professionals working in Canada earn on average CAD$125,680 per annum*. This just outstrips neighbouring USA at CAD$124,000 equivalent by a narrow margin. Australia is now leading the way with an average industry salary of CAD$167,160 per annum.
  • Over the next 12 months:
    • 38% of employers expect to increase salaries by up to 5%
    • 31% of employers expect to increase salaries between 5 - 10%
    • 8% of employers expect to increase salaries by more than 10%
    • 20% of employers expect to keep salaries at the same level
  • Top three benefits offered to Canadian oil and gas employees:
    • 38% receive bonuses
    • 33% receive a health plan
    • 25% receive a pension

Hays is an international recruitment consultancy with a strong Canadian presence with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Mississauga and Ottawa. Hays has more than 150 specialized consultants offering a broad range of corporate recruiting expertise, with particular specializations in serving the oil and gas, Information Technology, finance and accounting, and construction and property, and mining and resources sectors.

* Salaries are expressed in US Dollars in the Salary Guide. Exchange rate used in this release is US$1:CAD$1.02.

To download a free copy of the Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide 2013 http://www.hays.com/about-hays/our-markets/oil-gas-salary-guide/index.htm for more information.

About Hays Canada:
Hays Specialist Recruitment Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hays plc, which has been at the forefront of the global recruitment industry for over thirty-five years. With annual revenues of over £2.1 billion, Hays Specialist Recruitment is the largest specialist recruitment consultancy in the world.

SOURCE: Hays Canada

For further information:

Kieran Lawler
Media Profile
Direct: 416-342-1823
Cell: 416-303-0799
Kieran.lawler@mediaprofile.com