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Headhunting companies look to US to fill vacant Canadian jobs

Published by Steve Coleman on May 07, 2012

Canadian companies looking to fill vacancies at several planned industrial job sites are expanding their horizons to include US workers.

A skilled worker shortage at home has prompted headhunting companies to look south of the international border to find the people their clients need.

"The shortage of qualified workers is something that's affected Canadian hiring companies for years," says AJ Poulain, president of CanWest Industrial Support Services Inc. in a news release, "When there are mega projects being put on hold because there are no workers available, we need to start looking abroad to fill these requirements".

Most of the searching has been to fill vacancies in oil sands projects in northern Alberta, CanWest says. With a number of projects slated to start, companies have been looking for welders, pipefitters, ironworkers electricians and industrial insulators to grease projects' wheels.

Production in northern Alberta is expected to increase from 1.31 million barrels per day in 2008 to three million barrels per day in 2018. Because of the demand for workers, trades people working on oil sands projects are among the best paid workers in Canada, the company says.

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