Alberta's employment minister has unveiled an action plan aimed making the workforce more attractive to older workers, in hopes of avoiding what he calls a perfect storm for the labour market.
Thomas Lukaszuk said that within the next 10 years, the province will have 77,000 more jobs than people to fill them, partly because baby boomers will retire out of the workforce.
"We're walking into a perfect storm," he said.
At a conference in Edmonton Wednesday, he unveiled an aging-workforce strategy that aims to revise retirement programs and pension policies. It will also develop age-friendly work environments, flexible work arrangements and phased retirement.
In Calgary, retired cook Edith Jones scoffed at the idea of going back to work without flexible working hours and more take-home pay.
"It's not worth going to work when the government takes all your wages and you get barely nothing. What is the point of going to work?"
Ben Brunnen, a director with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, said Alberta businesses are trying to entice retirees back to the workforce.
"We're hearing about shortages in the oil patch and those shortages are going to translate into increased employment demand in Calgary, probably in the next 12 to 18 months," he said.
Brunnen said his organization supports government incentives meant to convince people like Jones to come out of retirement.