GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — Oil companies are facing a shortage of skilled workers, and some are considering training their own drivers and dispatchers to fill the void.
Human Resources Minister Jane Stewart recently promised $1 million for a fund that would help oil and gas companies address the need for more skilled workers.
Darcy Raupenstrauch, district manager of Gibson Petroleum, told local media that “There is definitely a lack of skilled workers.”
He adds “We have a really hard time finding qualified dispatchers with proper training and experience so we’ve started training them on the job.” He says a driver training program may not be far off if the situation doesn’t improve.
Turk Taylor of Grande Prairie’s Canadian Hunter, says his company also feels the pressure and is willing to “try to steal the very best we can.”
Although the industry is welcoming the $1 million pledge from the feds, Raupenstrauch says that money could have been better spent.
“They’ll spend a million dollars just to find out we do have a problem,” points out Raupenstrauch. “They could put their money directly into what is needed — training programs.”