For the last number of weeks I?ve been reading many articles about the lack of trained workers for oil and gas field jobs. I?ve also read how the city of Fort St. John has been holding job fairs all over the country, trying to find workers for the oil and gas industry to come to their area. All this makes me wonder ?Why??.
Here, in Tumbler Ridge, we have recently graduated 13 students from the Northern Lights College Oil and Gas Field Operator program, a (supposedly) recognised program to train workers for employment in the field. Yet, Fort St. John is going far and wide looking for workers.
Before taking the 18 week course, we were told there was a demand for course graduates. I personally contacted several companies to see if they hired graduates of the program. The overwhelming response was ?yes?. But now that we?ve taken almost 4 months to complete the course (at great personal expense), we?re being told – ?we?re looking for people with 2 or more years experience?. Why the change in tune? How do we get this experience without starting somewhere? What happened to the ?Yes, we hire course graduates? response?
To those who say there are no trained people, I say – look a few miles south, we?re here, we?re trained and we need jobs!!!
Dale Groves, Tumbler Ridge