Tapping the Global Skills Market for Calgary - The Honourable Sinclair Stevens Addresses Job Mobility Solutions at Roundtable on Critical Shortages
April 26, 2007

Calgary, April 26, 2007 -- A roundtable of Calgary executives being held to find solutions to critical shortages of skilled workers, will hear about a new program from The Honourable Sinclair Stevens, President of the Commonwealth Advantage. Mr. Stevens, former Minister of Industry in two federal governments, has just been announced as the lead speaker in a panel of experts who will suggest ideas for discussion by senior executives from Calgary's oil and gas and advanced technology sectors.

The roundtable is open to executives who want to participate in a peer-to-peer conversation on May 1st , 2007. The executives will 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.

"We did a brief online poll to get a feel for priorities among executives," said Taimour Zaman, Managing Partner 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, and Calgary Technologies Inc., the city's premier advanced technology community. "All of the respondents rated "global sourcing" as the most important single avenue for the acquisition of skilled workers."

"One solution for Calgary executives to consider, will be to tap the tremendous workforce from Commonwealth countries," stated Mr. Stevens. "English-speaking workers with a high level of training are readily available. We have come back from a mission to Pakistan, for example, and have learned about the eagerness of companies there to send skilled workers to do projects in Canada. I would like to hear whether Calgary's leaders have had success with this kind of program."

Poll Results
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, an online "flash poll" was launched to gather basic information for the roundtable. While the results of the poll will be announced only at the roundtable event, it found that all executive respondents reported a shortage of workers. The main categories of workers being sought included Project Managers, Engineers and Information Technology workers.

Executives still have a chance to take two minutes before the event to complete the poll, at:

The Roundtable
The major Canadian Oil and Gas Associations are joining in this event to ensure its success, and interested executives are encouraged to attend. IBM and Siemens consider the issue so key to their clients' growth that they are the major sponsors of the event.

The event, "Managing Growth when talent is scarce and costs are high. What are the keys to success? Who's making progress and how?", will start with a leadership round table that will have industry leaders discussing the event in a format reminiscent of a kitchen table conversation. The conversation creates a powerful sharing of ideas, experiences, and expertise, and conflicting approaches to the problem are encouraged. The result is a strategic understanding of the problem and practical solutions.

Participating with an expert panel will be 80 other executives in the oil and gas sector, who will contribute their views. The break out sessions will include Outsourcing Business Functionality, Relocating Part of the Business, and Bringing Staff to Calgary. The knowledge contained in the break out sessions is shared and discussed with the entire group of executives.

All the knowledge and insight in the sessions is captured and published as a white paper several weeks later. The white paper will be sent to almost 30,000 industry leaders.

While there is no charge to attend the event, it is on a first-come, first serve basis and is limited to senior executives from companies with over 50 employees. Executives can register by contacting Wanda Gomes, Program Director at The Access Group: by phone at (416) 629-7924 or by emailing name, title, company and contact information to oilgascalgarytechnologies@accessgroup.com.cn

About Access Group
About The Access Group - The Access Group is a management consulting firm,founded in 2001, that specializes in customized Executive education. At TheAccess Group we believe that the more insight an executive has - the more ofan edge it provides their company. Participants and Observers can sharebusiness challenges and solutions while clients strengthen businessrelationships by understanding business needs better. The Access Groupprovides senior decision makers from public and private-sector organizationswith opportunities to share ideas on operations and strategies, learn aboutbest practices, and explore practical business solutions to the challengesfaced by Canadian business leaders.

About the Commonwealth Advantage
The Commonwealth Advantage was founded in Canada as a private-sector, member-based association that seeks to lever ties within the Commonwealth to build practical business advantages for businesses. The Canadian Commonwealth Advantage is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Royal Commonwealth Society of Toronto Foundation and the Toronto Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society. The Canadian Commonwealth Advantage provides a unique ability to bridge barriers to international trade and promote successful global business strategies. It works in partnership in Canada with the country's largest high-tech business organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, which has 22,000 members.Please visit: http://www.cata.ca/commonwealth

About Calgary Technologies Inc.
Calgary Technologies Inc. accelerates the success of the advanced technology community by helping companies to build, grow and connect. We offer programs and services to help entrepreneurs build their companies. We link them to sources of financing and business experts who can help address the challenges of growth. And we connect companies to the right people with the right resources at the right time to enhance business to business collaboration and promote innovation. For more information visit http://www.calgarytechnologies.com

About CATAAlliance: The business of technology
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) is the biggest business development association for producers and users of advanced technology. The only organization representing all sectors of the economy, CATA's umbrella of special-interest, municipal, provincial and allied organizations directly reaches 28,000 technology executives. CATA creates strategic partnerships, strengthens communities and networks, and promotes supportive public policy. For more than a quarter of a century CATA has been stimulating growth, driving commercialization and growing the advanced technology export industry for the Canadian economy. More information about CATA can be found on the CATA Web site: http://www.cata.ca