Newspaper article The Canadian Press

As Oilpatch Downturn Continues, Job Seekers Wrestle with Career Change

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

As Oilpatch Downturn Continues, Job Seekers Wrestle with Career Change

Article excerpt

Laid off oil workers wrestle with job change

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CALGARY - Eight months into his search for a new job in the oil and gas industry, Rashad Bayramov says he's open to switching industries.

But it's not so simple.

"There are some perceptions from employers," said Bayramov, who previously worked in cost control. "They prefer people with experience in the specific field. It's not easy to change, even if you wish so."

Bayramov was one of close to 2,000 people who showed up at the Global Energy Career Expo in Calgary that ran this week. But with only about a quarter of the number of companies looking to hire compared to last year, job offerings were slim.

"The oil and gas market is so down," said Tarang Jain, a 25-year-old finishing up his master's degree in petroleum engineering at the University of Alberta.

"It's really tough to get the job right now."

Since September, an estimated 25,000 have been laid off in the oil and gas industry, according to BMO Capital Markets analyst Robert Kavcic.

While that may leave many of them considering switching careers, recruiters say jumping from one industry to another isn't easy.

Brenda Cullum-Shergold, a recruiter with the Bowen recruitment agency, says many employers worry about how committed people are to such a change.

"If you're an employer in a transportation company for example, and you've got someone in oil and gas that comes to you looking for a job, the first thing that you're going to think is, 'How long before they jump back to oil and gas? …

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