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January 6, 2020 | Resource Labour Market Information Report 2020

Stewart Muir is founder and executive director of the Resource Works Society, a Vancouver-based group open to participation by British Columbians from all walks of life who are concerned about their future economic opportunities. He is an author, journalist and historian with experience on three continents including a financial editor of The Vancouver Sun responsible for mining and markets coverage. Since Resource Works was established in 2014, the group has gained international recognition for its practical approach to the public challenges of responsible natural resource development and use.

Report will identify job growth in forestry, mining and mineral exploration, oil and gas extraction including liquefied natural gas, paper manufacturing, primary metal products, resource-based construction, utilities and wood product manufacturing in British Columbia.

Do you want to be ahead of the curve or losing in the war for talent and jeopardizing your business growth? This upcoming study by authoritative labour market strategist and analyst Kerry Jothen of Human Capital Strategies will inform workforce planning and development for those in industry, government and labour organizations. A key value add is that it looks at the whole resource sector picture, not just one industry at a time, including recommendations for a resource sector-wide workforce strategy.

Many employers chasing small skills pool

One of the greatest challenges among BC resource industries in the coming decade will be – particularly in regions outside southwestern BC – that the industries within the resource sector are often chasing the same operators, trades, technicians and professionals. This report will show later common patterns in job openings across oil and gas, mining, forest products, etc. When one adds in the expected demand from existing and future LNG projects, more of the same occupations will be involved. In the north coast/Nechako region, unemployment has averaged an extremely low 3.8% in 2019 to date.

This all means that the resource sectors in BC will suffer economically (i.e. lost business opportunities, reduced productivity, lower product quality, reduced revenue, and profits, etc.) if they do not solve the current and future talent crunch. Correspondingly, communities, Indigenous people and other workers will also suffer from lost opportunities, particularly in the northern regions of the province. The LNG Canada project, the Coastal GasLink Pipeline and other emerging LNG-related projects are game-changers for occupational trades growth and opportunities.

100,000 new job openings

While each resource sector is a significant employment generator in itself, BC’s resource sectors could collectively generate over 100,000 new job openings over the next decade or approximately 10% of the province’s total new opportunities. The report will identify key occupations and job growth in forestry, mining and mineral exploration, oil and gas extraction including liquefied natural gas, paper manufacturing, primary metal products, resource-based construction, utilities and wood product manufacturing in BC. It includes a particular focus on BC northern development and on opportunities for local workers, including many from Indigenous communities. As well as identifying high demand/high risk (of shortages) occupations, this report will show where resource sectors need the same skills – truck drivers, material handlers, vehicle mechanics, millwrights and industrial mechanics, carpenters, construction labourers will be needed by all resource sectors.

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January 6th, 2020

Posted In: Resource Works

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