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Thursday, June 2, 2011 - Ledcor Alberta launches hiring drive

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
By Bill Mah, edmontonjournal.com

Bob Walker, vice-president of Ledcor Building division, Northern Alberta

Photographed by:
Brian Gavriloff, edmontonjournal.com

EDMONTON - In a sign that labour shortages have returned to Alberta, a major industrial employer launched a hiring campaign Tuesday to attract 9,000 workers in 2011.

Ledcor Industries Inc. has already hired 3,800 workers so far this year.

The need is so urgent that Ledcor building division vice-president Bob Walker warned some planned industrial projects may not go ahead.

“Whenever there are quotes about the size of projects, it’s often 50 per cent labour and 50 per cent material,” Walker said.

“Without that 50 per cent of labour, we’re not going to get the jobs built that we’re hoping to get built.”

Walker said Alberta can no longer rely on drawing labour from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Maritimes because those regions are busy too. Meanwhile, the workforce is aging and families are growing smaller.

In a news conference at the Alberta Art Gallery, which the company built, Ledcor unveiled its first official recruitment drive; in the past, it hired mostly through referrals, said Sue Melik, director of recruiting.

“We’ve always done a lot of hiring, but we’ve never been strategic about it by going to the market,” she said.

“If Ledcor’s looking to hire over 9,000 people in 2011, we need to open up the gates.”

Centred around the theme “I (We) Built This,” Ledcor will blanket Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray with billboards, posters in restaurants, bars and airports, contact cards and use social media for the first time, by reaching out with a Facebook page. The company also hopes to lure more aboriginals and women to its workforce.

The company, which employs 5,000 people across North America, is looking for both tradespeople and office help.

Best known for its construction division, its arms with the greatest needs for workers are actually its industrial, maintenance and civil divisions, all active in the oilsands industry near Fort McMurray, she said.

“We secured a lot of work in the oilsands that are longer-term projects that we’re looking to staff.”

Alberta faces a shortage of at least 77,000 workers over the next decade, said Employment and Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

In April, Alberta’s unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent, down from 7.6 per cent a year earlier.

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal - sourced: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=4868803

posted in News at Thu, 02 Jun 2011 08:15:17 -0600



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