As the natural gas industry continues to grow, we have to think about how we can sustain that development. We’ve talked about how the rise in natural gas use will help create more jobs for Canadians, but at the rate the industry is growing, there’s likely to be a rapid increase in demand for skilled labour, particularly in British Columbia. The province plans to build five plants for the northwest coast to liquefy natural gas drilled from wells in northeastern B.C.
“It’s going to have a huge impact on the labour force,” says Terry Williams, Dean of BCIT’s School of Energy. It’s expected that the construction of liquefied natural gas plants and associated pipelines will generate at least 63,000 jobs, according to a recent report by a committee of representatives from the provincial government and industry. The B.C. Natural Gas Workforce Strategy committee forecasts that 2,400 new jobs will be available once construction is complete, and at least 61,000 positions will be needed to support LNG operations.
That’s why the BCIT School of Energy wants to take a leadership role in training the right people to fill the roles needed to keep the industry vital and strong. Interest is growing in LNG-related courses, and applications for the heavy-duty mechanic program have increased by 55 per cent since July 2012.
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