British Columbia’s natural gas sector is in a period of transition – an unprecedented time of investment, growth and development. Why? Because of a future in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and its potential to generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue for the Province, said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas of B.C.
“For the past year, our government has aggressively promoted B.C.’s LNG potential, and the world is taking notice. We’ve built strong business relationships in Asia, which are paying off. Private sector investments have increased, with major industry players announcing plans to build LNG plants in B.C.,”, he said.
“There are benefits coming forward, and we need to make sure the momentum continues. Part of that will include skills training, which is an important and major focus of our efforts. Construction of multiple LNG projects is expected to create thousands of jobs over the next decade – this includes field preparation work, trade services, heavy-equipment operators and many engineering positions, to name just a few,” he said.
Once in operation, each LNG facility will also provide long-term jobs. A LNG plant will require highly skilled and technically qualified employees to successfully manage and operate this new industry for B.C. According to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, it is estimated that direct employment in our natural gas sector will grow to as many as 40,000 people by 2035. This is a significant increase from the 12,000 workers employed in the industry as of 2010.
“We’re looking at job creation in so many fields of work. For instance, service sector opportunities will substantially increase in geophysical services, permitting and reclamation work, well servicing, maintenance contractors, and transportation are just a few of the areas where jobs will be created,” the Minister said.
And all of this without even mentioning indirect jobs – which will be vast. For example, as an export industry, LNG will create marine and coastal business opportunities that will need port authority and safety operators, longshoremen, and crane operators.
“Training and preparation is required now to ensure British Columbians are ready and able to fill the many jobs that will be created through our natural gas industry,” the Minister said.
“We’re collaborating with industry and training authorities to determine next steps. Working together will help develop a training system that will be responsive to the needs of labour demands in this exciting new industry,” he said.
Later this year, a labour demand outlook will be released and should show what jobs will be needed, where they are needed and when.
The next step will be to develop a comprehensive workforce strategy and action plan, funded through a Labour Market Partnership agreement and led by the BC Resource Training Organization. The workforce strategy and action plan will help ensure that there are sufficient numbers of skilled workers to meet the anticipated expansion of this sector.
“Together, we are championing a prosperous future full of economic opportunities. We will be a leader for LNG production and export. British Columbians – with the skills to make it all work – will benefit for generations to come,” he added.
LNG World News Staff, November 25, 2012; Image: gov.bc.ca