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Career expo showcases jobs in Alberta’s evolving energy sector

As many as 3,000 job seekers are expected to roll through the Telus Convention Centre by the end of Wednesday, looking for a place in Alberta’s rapidly evolving energy sector.

“We’re definitely heading towards a more sustainable future, which is something great for someone with my background,” Kelechi Agu, a recent graduate with a Master’s in Environmental Science, said.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith addressed the crowd Tuesday morning, pointing to carbon capture and storage and hydrogen production plans as examples of future opportunities.

“We are not transitioning away from oil and gas, we are transitioning away from emissions,” Smith said.

The federal government has used the World Petroluem Conference in Calgary as a backdrop to announce $175 million in funding for 12 Alberta solar power projects and another $32.4 million for skills transition training through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program.

Among the employers at the expo is a sense that business is simultaneously changing and showing opportunities to grow.

“We’re projecting 20 per cent growth year over year for the next couple of years,” Chantelle Labrecque, an HR professional with Rally Engineering, said.

She said prospective employees need to be not only technically proficient, but also align with her company’s core values.

“What’s happening now is there is a lot of movement, so if you are an employee that has worked with a particular company for a long time, you’re very appealing,” Trevor Leigh, with Kastel Staffing Group, said.

The concentration of jobs and employers is also an opportunity for people new to Alberta’s leading sector.

“In one day you can get a sense of exactly what those opportunities are in the sector,” Nick Samain, senior VP of DMG Events which organized the expo, said.

“I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at the variety of jobs that are available for them here.”

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