Suncor recruits New Brunswick workers out west
Another Canadian energy company arrived in Fredericton on Wednesday night in an attempt to recruit New Brunswickers to work in western Canada.
Suncor Energy has 250 job openings for qualified workers.
Sarah Lockwood, a recruiter with Suncor Energy, said the company is looking for a wide array of employees.
"We are looking for everything from engineers to planners to coordinators, all sorts of skilled trades [and] heavy equipment operators. We are looking for a wide variety in just about anything," she said.
New Brunswick’s unemployment rate has held stubbornly above 10 per cent for several months. Statistics Canada said the jobless rate jumped to 11.6 per cent in October, which is the highest level since May 2003.
In the summer, roughly 3,000 job seekers showed up for a job fair in Fredericton that was organized by 11 western companies.
Premier David Alward and Finance Minister Blaine Higgs have talked in recent months about the importance of developing the economy and getting more people working in New Brunswick.
The politicians have specifically mentioned the need to closely examine the future opportunities in the shale gas industry.
But some of the young people who showed up at the Fredericton hotel to inquire about the Suncor Energy jobs are looking for work immediately.
Jarod Ernest is a welder and he said he wants a career in the trades but that does not seem possible in New Brunswick.
"It feels good to know that there are people actually out there looking for workers like me, skilled," he said.
"I took my apprenticeship here in New Brunswick for four years and ... there's not enough to keep someone young, like me, here so I look for jobs out west."
The lure of jobs in western Canada even attracted some people who are still in school.
Marc Rossignol, an engineering student in Fredericton, said he’s preparing to pack his bags and leave the province once he graduates.
"It’s kind of crucial to go out west. There’s a lot more jobs out west," Rossignol said.