Government grant will be used to create environmental pipeline construction inspection standards

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The Province of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services


workforce partnership program

We’re very excited to announce that we have received a grant from the Alberta Government, under their Workforce Partnership program, to develop an occupation profile, career roadmap and guidelines for Environmental Pipeline Construction Inspection.

Pipeline and facility inspections play a significant role in pipeline safety, helping to ensure the highest standards. So, it’s important to us at Energy Connections Canada that inspectors are well trained and that standards and practices are consistent and clear.

Some of the programs we have produced to that end have included the Practical Guide for Facility Inspectors, the Practical Guide for Pipeline Construction Inspectors and the Pipeline Inspector Certification Program.

The Workforce Partnership Program

The Alberta Government’s Workforce Partnership program has invested $1.53-million in 16 different projects to help spur economic growth and diversification and build a skilled and diverse workforce. It’s part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and will provide Albertans with a range of job opportunities across several sectors including biotechnology, commercial trucking, energy, aviation, forestry and retail.

Why environmental construction inspection is important

Foundation member Jiva Consulting & School of Energy was instrumental in identifying the grant and putting together the grant proposal. Reena Sahney, president of Jiva explained why this project is a priority: “Mitigating environmental impacts is a priority for pipeline operations, and has become an increasingly important aspect of construction inspection. Environmental construction inspection has become a specialist skill; however, It remains a difficult to access career path while it is clear that it has the potential to offer standalone career opportunities.”

Industry survey data shows that more than 75 per cent of the pipeline construction inspectors have more than sixteen years of experience, so there is an emerging gap in the workforce. “We want to make sure that we can codify and capture practices and make this career more accessible to the upcoming demographic at a time when prioritizing the environment is critical,” said Ms. Sahney.

Next steps

Now that the $100,000 grant has been awarded to Energy Connections Canada, a steering committee will be formed of individuals from different organizations and different segments of the pipeline supply chain. Together they will form a plan for three primary deliverables:

  1. A Practical Guide for Environmental Construction Inspection. That document will parallel the already existing Practical Guide for Pipeline Construction Inspectors.
  2. A career roadmap.
  1. An occupational profile to help operators better understand what competencies and skills to look for in an inspector.

“Here in Alberta we have a significant inspection workforce,” said Ms. Sahney. “By compiling best practices from industry members, including operators, suppliers and vendors, and transforming them into an accessible, usable resource we hope to inform and attract a new generation of environmental construction inspectors.”

You can read about the other projects awarded funds through the Alberta Workforce Partnership program here.

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