November 1, 2016 3:18 pm

Alberta oilsands group calling on federal government for renewable energy training

WATCH ABOVE: An Alberta oilsands group is calling on the federal government to support their plan to train unemployed workers in the renewable energy sector. Kendra Slugoski reports.

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Alberta oil and gas workers and business leaders have created a plan to get unemployed Albertans back to work.

The plan was developed by the oilsands worker-led group Iron & Earth which is calling on the federal government to provide renewable energy training for unemployed skilled tradespeople.

Among the primary focuses of the plan are providing training for tradespeople quickly and building up the manufacturing sector.

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“Every single tradesperson that is out of work today could be redeployed in the energy sector,” Lliam Hildebrand, Iron & Earth, said.

“Obviously there’s not enough jobs to fill all of those potential employees right now and that’s why as renewable energy projects ramp up in 2018, it’s very important to use this window of opportunity to re-skill.”

READ MORE: Solar power projects lined up in anticipation of Alberta NDP incentives

Iron & Earth said there’s a brief window to train Alberta workers to ramp up more of the renewable energy sector, but it needs help from the federal government so the jobs stay in the province.

“I see some folks that, if they don’t find another contract soon, they’re going to have to sell their house at a loss and move on. Some people have already hit the point where there is no more available credit to move them forward,” journeyman welder Kerry Oxford said.

READ MORE: Alberta government looks at options to become 50% solar powered

Iron & Earth said 63 per cent of the workers it surveyed are willing and able to move into the renewable energy sector.

The group wants its plan to be incorporated in the national climate strategy.

 

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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