Developing staff through apprenticeship program

Corporate Responsibility

Developing staff through apprenticeship program

Canadian Natural is keenly aware of the crucial role education and training plays in developing people. Our Apprenticeship Program at Horizon Oil Sands is helping employees learn new skills and achieve significant career goals through hands-on experience. The first three employees completed the program in 2015, and to date we’ve had a total of nine graduates — six heavy equipment technicians (HETs) and three electricians.

The program was launched in 2011 and was initiated with the intent of sponsoring our own homegrown tradespeople who would go on to fill vacant positions within the maintenance team at Horizon. The candidates usually start out with Canadian Natural, either as labourers or as fuel and lube technicians, but success in the program also requires a lot of dedication and commitment from those applying. To be considered, a candidate must demonstrate a strong work ethic, an aptitude in the trade they will be learning, and the ability to manage the challenges associated with going to school. Those accepted are required to complete 1,500 hours of on-the-job training, plus eight weeks of technical training per year, for a period of four years. Canadian Natural covers all expenses related to their field of study and provides apprentices with the ability to gain hands-on experience in their chosen trade.

The Apprenticeship Program symbolizes exactly what it means to live our Company mission statement of ‘developing people’ and ‘working together’, that ultimately contributes to our goal of safe, steady and reliable operations.

Photos of some of the employees who completed the Apprenticeship Program in Mine Maintenance in 2016: (from left) Alan Goll, General Foreman, with HET graduate Wayne Reashore; program graduate and Journeyman Electrician Jason Temple with Donald Hiscock, Shift Team Lead; and Neil McKendry, General Foreman, Mine Maintenance, with HET program graduate Glen Ball.