How to get a job in Alberta’s oil patch
The oilpatch, where thousands of job prospects abound, has its own set of rules.
But with a recent crackdown on non-English speaking workers, a new rule from the Alberta government that could make life harder for those who are looking for a job, and a looming labour shortage, it seems that some of those rules could soon get more complicated.
Alberta’s government on Monday rolled out a rule that it said will help businesses in the oilpatch “improve their recruitment process” for English-speaking workers.
In doing so, the province says it is trying to help the oil patch “promote a more diverse and inclusive culture of work and provide for an efficient recruitment process for all job seekers.”
Alberta Premier Alison Redford has been calling for a better recruiting system, and has said the province’s new rules will help.
“It’s the first time we’ve put in place a rule so that employers can better identify people for jobs,” Redford told reporters Monday.
“I think it’s really important.”
The Alberta labour code currently requires employers to consider English-language candidates on their “application” form, but the new rules would require employers to ask for an interview.
In addition to language requirements, the rules also call for employers to give “reasonable consideration” to candidates who have been employed by a business in Alberta in the past six months.
That means the new rule would require all employers to provide more than a cursory review of each candidate’s resume and interview skills.
It would also make it more difficult for non-native English-speakers to land a job.
But while the rules are expected to be more stringent, Redford said she wants employers to understand that hiring English-medium workers in the oilsands is not the answer to job shortages.
“We’re in a labour shortage.
We’ve got to address it.
We can’t solve the job shortages by just making the labour market more difficult,” she said.
“That’s just not the right approach.”
The province’s latest labour rule was rolled out following a consultation with the Alberta Chamber of Commerce, which has called on the government to “reform the recruitment process so that the province can continue to attract the best and brightest from across the country.”
The Chamber’s president, Bob Rennie, said the rule would also help businesses hire more qualified people.
“A lot of times employers are looking to hire an English-trained person.
We don’t want to have to say to our people, ‘You need to go to another province or you need to hire someone else because we’re not going to have enough English speakers,'” he said.
Renny said there is a growing demand for people in Alberta, with people in the country-wide job market now more than double what they were in 2005.
“The economy is booming.
It’s booming in Alberta and we’ve got a job growth in the pipeline,” he said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.
“You have to understand we have a growing labour market and we need people to fill those jobs.”
But he said the new regulations will not necessarily help in the job market.
“If you’ve been working here for a while, you know what happens, you need a refresher on what is required,” he explained.
“They’ll give you the information you need.
But if you’re just starting out, the new system won’t help you.”
The new rules were rolled out without much fanfare, and only recently came into effect.
The government has said that the rules will make it easier for employers in the Alberta oilpatch to attract workers.
“This new rule is a response to a number of new recruitment requirements that are required by Alberta’s labour code, including the hiring of employees from non-residents of Canada, as well as a new labour recruitment rule that includes language and language-specific requirements for job postings,” a government press release said.
Redford added that she hopes that employers will be able to use the new job requirement in their recruitment and hiring process.
“When you are looking at a job seeker’s background, they are looking in English.
They are looking from a Canadian perspective, and we want them to be able see themselves reflected in their resume,” she told reporters on Monday.
Follow Josh Blanchard on Twitter: @joshblanchard