Canada’s oil patch companies struggling with recruitment

CALGARY, A.B. — After many years of having almost no issues with recruitment, Canada’s oil patch is starting to have a rough go of it when it comes to hiring, which is making an industry recovery more difficult.

According to an article in Bloomberg News, drilling and equipment companies are finding it hard to lure workers back to Alberta’s gravel roads and remote camps, after massive job cuts in the past few years left a bad taste in people’s mouths. Many Canadians who had moved to Alberta for work have since returned to their home provinces and found jobs in other industries.

As oil patch companies seek to grow once again, the labor shortage adds another headwind to an industry that is also challenged by high costs and middling crude oil prices. While an improvement in the market means that oil service providers are once again in high demand, they have less sway to attract workers.

Trican Well Services CEO Dale Dusterhoft says that his company likely missed out on as much as $15 million in revenue in the first quarter, because it didn’t have enough workers to meet customers’ demand.

He added that though the company is aiming to hire 200 people by the end of the summer, they expect to miss that target. Once new workers are hired, they require at least two months of training before they’re turned loose in the field.

“We can’t really get them all as quick as we want,” Dusterhoft said in an interview. “So it probably delays our growth a little.”

Story courtesy Bloomberg News:

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