Oil Sands Committee Looking Ahead

Tuesday, March 16, 2004 at 12:51



A task force that’s trying to help northern Saskatchewan people find employment in northern Alberta’s oil sands sector is intent on overcoming several challenges , now that it’s received more federal funding for the project.


The North’s Oil Sands Sub-Committee plans to use some of the 300-thousand dollars in funding it received yesterday to come up with a database that will match the specific skills of potential workers to employer needs.


Co-chair Doug Gailey says even though they’ve been able to find work for roughly 30 northern residents in the last couple of years, a shortage of qualified personnel is proving to be a major obstacle.


Gailey also says the sub-committee is going to put a lot of effort this year into promoting northern Saskatchewan workers to potential employers in Alberta. He says there are people in the North already qualified to work in the oil sands, but they’re finding some companies prefer to hire workers from the Maritimes.


Federal cabinet minister Rey Pagtakhan, who made yesterday’s funding announcement, is confident that any bias against northern Saskatchewan workers will be erased once northerners have the training they need.