Firms Seeking to Help Alleviate Calgary's Job Shortage Require Local Relationships
March 27, 2007

Calgary, March 27, 2007 -- The Oil and Gas sector is a tightly-knit community, where building and maintaining relationships is the key to partnering, says a panel of Access Group leaders. "For vendors wanting to enter the industry with solutions to the job shortage in Oil and Gas, you need to partner with local organizations, ensure you have or create a local presence, and be able to create customized solutions/offerings per client," says Taimour Zaman, President of the Access Group, a think tank that networks executives to create actionable strategic plans. The Access Group is aligned with CATAAlliance, Canada's largest high-tech association.

"CATA and The Access Group are committed to helping organizations collaborate to reduce the job skill bottleneck," said Cal Fairbanks, VP Canada HSE and a CATAAlliance Director. "Working with local players is absolutely necessary in contributing to improving the sector. You have to be cognizant of the position of each player in the economic cycle. Currently, the Canadian oil patch is thriving. Companies involved in all facets of the drilling, distribution are enjoying high demand and high market prices, driving a worker shortage. The boom-bust nature of the oil patch has made companies more cautious with respect to expansion and IT investments in general."

On March 22nd, CATA and The Access Group conducted an executive peer-to-peer conference call with vendors selling into the oil/gas sector to identify risks and best practices. Following this executive conversation, CATAAlliance and The Access Group will conduct a peer-to-peer conversation on May 1st with oil/gas executives to have them talk about their challenges in relocation, outsourcing or importing talent into their organizations. The challenges faced by executives as a result of the shortage include:

  • The Need for Partnerships: Calgary's executives, under pressure to make decisions at a far larger scale than ever before, are looking for new partners (both locally and globally) who can deliver professional help in finance, outsourcing, professional services, productivity improvement, IT infrastructure, and innovation.

  • Improved Linkages: New links, through new partners, are needed by these firms, to better connect with bigger outside players like Revenue Canada.

  • Staff Turn-over: Fast turn-over is threatening organizational continuity as well as inter-organizational relationships, as companies compete for scarce resources.

The Canadian oil and gas industry is a leader in many areas, including high-tech exploration, offshore operations, environmental protection technology, workplace safety practices and high refining processes. When prices are high, Oil & Gas Industry organizations cannot get the oil out of the ground fast enough; when prices are low however, they go into hiding and cut everything internally to survive until the next boom. This impacts how they consume IT and consulting services.

For more information about 'best practices in selling into oil/gas sector or for an opportunity to sponsor the upcoming conference please feel free to contact Taimour Zaman, Managing Partner at The Access Group at: 416-629-7924 or email