Alberta is in the midst of a skilled labour shortage. A slow-growing workforce and a high demand for experienced workers have continued to push the provinces unemployment rate down... Alberta is in the midst of a skilled labour shortage. A slow-growing workforce and a high demand for experienced workers have continued to push the province's unemployment rate down. And while this drought spans all employment sectors, the fossil fuel and construction industries comprise the biggest portions of the labour market affected by the shortage.
According to Alberta Human Resources and Employment, ads for skilled office support staff account for approximately 15 per cent of all jobs advertised each month in the Careers sections of the province's major newspapers. The demand for these jobs is expected to increase by five per cent by 2010. In other words, there are already great paying jobs out there and, over the next five years, there will be a lot more.
The province's strong economy and low unemployment rate have created an advantageous and lucrative period for job seekers. It's an employee's marketplace and companies have more positions than they have people to fill them. Even with the high demand for labour, employers in the oil and gas industry still require well-trained administrative professionals to ensure their business operations run smoothly. Reeves College's Oil and Gas Administrator (OGA) provides comprehensive training that allows grads to pursue employment in large companies that require specialized skills or smaller companies that require a broad knowledge of all areas.
The college's OGA program trains students to be jacks-of-all-trades. OGAs play crucial roles in the day-to-day operations of oil and gas companies of all sizes. They must understand industry terminology as well as basic concepts related to geology and geophysics. They should also have a broad knowledge of various aspects of the industry, including exploration, land scouting, well drilling, production operations and refining.
"This area is extremely interesting," says recent Reeves grad Amy Scaddon, "It allows you to work with many different people."
Additionally, OGA students learn about the industry's business and management methods. Because companies rely on their OGAs to deal with many provincial and federal government documents, the students develop a working knowledge of general contracts, regulations and legal agreements. They learn about accounting practices and marketing strategies, as well. They also sharpen their research, planning and reporting abilities.
The five-week practicum is absolutely crucial. The on-the-job training allows students to put their newly-acquired skills to use in the workplace. And, it helps them enter the job market with confidence.
"We have businesses calling here looking to hire students quite often before they've even graduated," says Leslie Martin, Reeves' Admissions Representative.
"It didn't take any time at all," adds Scaddan. "I found a place to complete my practicum and was hired through that company."