Canada looks locally to address LNG talent shortages

The government of British Columbia (BC), Canada, and LNG Canada have announced a joint funding program to boost skills around BC's growing liquid natural gas industry.

Oil facility
LNG Canada, a joint initiative led by Shell, will introduce the Trades Training Fund, a program with a CAD$1 million budget available to employers in construction for training and apprenticeships that will support the LNG sector.This will be complemented by the Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG), a three-way partnership between federal government, provincial government and employers. The CJG will provide CAD$500,000 for training between now and April 1st 2016.BC jobs minister Shirley Bond said, "The LNG industry represents tremendous opportunities for British Columbians, with the potential to generate billions of dollars in investment and create thousands of jobs in B.C. This is an exciting, transformative time and we want to prepare all British Columbians – and B.C. businesses – to seize the LNG opportunities coming our way."She also acknowledged at a press briefing at an LNG conference in Vancouver, however, that training alone won't cover the nascent LNG sector's skills needs."We also recognize that there will be a role for immigration – permanent pathways for people to be involved," she said. "At peak times, it may well be that there is a requirement for workers to be here on a temporary basis, but that will only be if and when needed, and after British Columbians have been considered."We are seeing in fact numbers of people return to British Columbia, particularly those who have gone to Alberta in the past to find work, and many of those workers are coming home," Bond said.The period from 2011 to 2013 saw more BC residents moving to neighbouring Alberta, another oil-producing province, than the other way round. That trend began reversing last summer, however, and in the first six months of 2015 BC saw a net gain of around 2,300 people from Alberta.LNG Canada external affairs director Susannah Pierce said that energy construction projects in BC would need affordable ways to hire large pools of workers."When necessary at peak times, we will have to call on international workers. But we know that in order to have success in this province and in Kitimat, we must go to local first, and local means to local businesses and First Nations," Ms Pierce told a conference panel.Special Focus on CanadaIf you have news and views to contribute please contact our Editorial Team via For advertising and sponsorship opportunities contact our Sales Team via For more on the Canadian energy sector see Relocate's feature, North America's oil and gas sector: Riding the rollercoaster. For more on relocation for this crucial industry, see our recent discussion with TheMIGroup's Gail Reinhart and Dwellworks' Sandra Cairns on relocation to remote locations, which relates to Canadian Employee Relocation Council conference session.For more Relocate news and features about Canada, click here.