Deloitte and Energy Council Canada study labor shortage

Report forecasts huge labor shortfall for Alberta, advocates ‘permanent sustainable’ solution.

Deloitte Canada, on behalf of the Energy Council of Canada, has just released a report on the ongoing ‘talent’ shortage in the Energy sector. Canada is on the verge of ‘a serious talent shortage that is expected to last for decades,’ with the energy sector expected to be hit particularly hard.


Over the past 15 years, career opportunities and market growth in oil and gas have stagnated and young people have chosen other careers. General interest in skilled trades has declined as more pursue white collar jobs. The result is a chronic shortage of qualified workers—and the problem is going to get worse.

332,000 shortfall

A 2006 study by the Conference Board of Canada predicted, with astonishing precision, a labor shortfall of 332,000 workers by 2025. Respondents to the Deloitte study identified the three most critical ‘people issues’ as the difficulty of attracting specific types of labor, attracting new talent and the retirement of the baby boom generation.


Deloitte partner Dick Cooper gives the following advice, ‘Talent programs need to move from expensive band-aid solutions to becoming long-term solutions that will revive the industry.’ The report compares the current situation in the Canadian energy sector with the dot com boom of the late 1990’s but warns against the ‘failed strategy’ of large bonuses and salaries. Pressure is on organizations to find more permanent and sustainable solutions such Deloitte’s ‘Develop-Deploy-Connect,’ a ‘new model for talent management.’

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