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Old 04-15-2014, 09:13 AM
 
Location: London, UK
112 posts, read 353,969 times
Reputation: 290

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Hello everyone!

I am a 25 year old West European, bachelor's degree educated in Business (Finance).
I am fit, athletic, etc.

I heard that in Alberta/Canada and specifically Fort Macmurray, there are great opportunities working in the Oil sands, with great salaries!

I am looking for an adventure, but also to experience Canada, work hard and make some good money

A couple questions:
- Immigration: Can I just grab a Working Holiday visa for 1 year and go to Fort Mac, and find a job and start working? Or do I need a more permanent visa? If I do just get a 1 year WH visa, can my employer if I get hired in the oil sands, help me extend beyond 1 year so I can keep working?

- Job: I am looking to become general labourer in the oil sands as I am not a skilled worker.
I know general labour is backbreaking hard work.
Could I do something else with my skills that would make similar money (100K + per year)?
I believe I cannot do apprenticeship as apprenticeship to become skilled worker (which are much better jobs than general labor) are closed to non-citizens. Is this true? Can I not do apprenticeship? If Yes what would you recommend to work in the oil sands (good demand and money)?

Basically I am looking for a little guide, on how I as a 25 year old business educated young man, can go to Fort Mac and get a job in the best conditions and work hard and make good cash

Essentially I want to gather some info, before taking a plane to the Tundra and having someone tell me "Actually you need this visa. Come back later" or something similar

Can you help?
PS: How are the oil sands doing these days? Still good work opps? Would you recommend against general unskilled labor in terms of work conditions?

Thanks!
Nick
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,379 posts, read 5,540,476 times
Reputation: 4438
With the working holiday visa you're limited to 15 or 25 hours a week of work, I believe. I'm not sure if they'll hire you with that little availability so you'd probably have to contact someone there and see what they think. Otherwise you'd have to look in to an actual work visa, which someone else will know more about than me.

And, please think about whether you actually want to do this. It's a lot of crappy labour in a somewhat isolated end of the province. This is really dirty work and (sorry, I know you don't want the lecture but I can't let it go in good conscience..) it's questionable work morally, since it's extremely hard on the environment, a hot topic for the health of residents nearby (native and otherwise), and in general it's oil - a limited, disposable resource that we should be trying to do away with. Everyone I know who is young and has moved there from my town seems to be a closeminded thug with little other job prospects; you might find yourself not very stimulated by these people.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:27 AM
 
131 posts, read 480,630 times
Reputation: 134
My wife is doing a computer implementation in Athabasca which is right in the middle of the Athabasca oil sands. It is so far in the middle of nowhere that the big news was when a Dominos Pizza opened there.

You'd need a workpermit. Look here:

Working Temporarily in Canada

I know I am linking to the UK, but it is the same drill for most EU countries. They would need a labour market opinion for this job.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:33 AM
 
Location: London, UK
112 posts, read 353,969 times
Reputation: 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post
With the working holiday visa you're limited to 15 or 25 hours a week of work, I believe. I'm not sure if they'll hire you with that little availability so you'd probably have to contact someone there and see what they think. Otherwise you'd have to look in to an actual work visa, which someone else will know more about than me.

And, please think about whether you actually want to do this. It's a lot of crappy labour in a somewhat isolated end of the province. This is really dirty work and (sorry, I know you don't want the lecture but I can't let it go in good conscience..) it's questionable work morally, since it's extremely hard on the environment, a hot topic for the health of residents nearby (native and otherwise), and in general it's oil - a limited, disposable resource that we should be trying to do away with. Everyone I know who is young and has moved there from my town seems to be a closeminded thug with little other job prospects; you might find yourself not very stimulated by these people.
Thank you...
Yes I can imagine that if you are paid that well for general labor, that there are huge downsides to it.
I even heard the firms send a doctor to the containers where workers live, to check on their mental health, but I don't know if its myth or reality.

I did hear some bad things, yes.
But I just want to give it a try, for me it seems like an extreme adventure, a big change from a normal 9-5 life in Europe.

I also did hear about the environment thing...I am quite Pro-Environment myself, but I'd say in this case Im just interested in the experience. But maybe on the job my feelings will change. I hope not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stufried View Post
My wife is doing a computer implementation in Athabasca which is right in the middle of the Athabasca oil sands. It is so far in the middle of nowhere that the big news was when a Dominos Pizza opened there.

You'd need a workpermit. Look here:

Working Temporarily in Canada

I know I am linking to the UK, but it is the same drill for most EU countries. They would need a labour market opinion for this job.
Thank you Sir.
I have also found some useful info on here.
Temporary workers: —Work in Canada

Looks like what I need to do is get into the "Temporary Foreign Worker Program".
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
3,630 posts, read 3,418,731 times
Reputation: 5577
Quote:
Originally Posted by anondragon View Post
I also did hear about the environment thing...I am quite Pro-Environment myself, but I'd say in this case Im just interested in the experience. But maybe on the job my feelings will change. I hope not.
You may wish to rethink your plans. Many young guys in my location take jobs in the oil patch (as it's known locally); and they, for the most part, don't give a hang for the environment. The oil sands may be environmentally-questionable, but it keeps them employed, and paid extremely well--they will often come back home with a giant, gas-guzzling pickup truck; or come back and put a down payment on a house, or make similar large purchases.

In short, these are the guys with whom you will be working. If you can get along with guys who are more interested in talking about their next paycheque and what they plan to do with it, rather than talking about saving the environment, you might do well. If not, don't expect to get along well with your co-workers.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:33 AM
 
10,839 posts, read 14,737,329 times
Reputation: 7874
Stop this save the environment nonsense. If one does want to save it, stop using natural gas and electricity today.

In addition, it is so hypocritical to claim about caring for the environment and recycling every tiny piece of paper, while on the other hand living in a 2000 sf car dependent suburban house set to 18C in the summer and 26C in the winter as well as running dryers, dish washers etc regularly.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Canada
7,309 posts, read 9,338,713 times
Reputation: 9859
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Stop this save the environment nonsense. If one does want to save it, stop using natural gas and electricity today.

In addition, it is so hypocritical to claim about caring for the environment and recycling every tiny piece of paper, while on the other hand living in a 2000 sf car dependent suburban house set to 18C in the summer and 26C in the winter as well as running dryers, dish washers etc regularly.
Why, botticelli, I think I missed you! Don't think I've seen you around here for a while or maybe I just didn't see your posts.

And another shocker - I agree with you!
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:17 PM
 
10,839 posts, read 14,737,329 times
Reputation: 7874
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Why, botticelli, I think I missed you! Don't think I've seen you around here for a while or maybe I just didn't see your posts.

And another shocker - I agree with you!
thanks! I was on vacation for 5 weeks
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,379 posts, read 5,540,476 times
Reputation: 4438
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Stop this save the environment nonsense. If one does want to save it, stop using natural gas and electricity today.

In addition, it is so hypocritical to claim about caring for the environment and recycling every tiny piece of paper, while on the other hand living in a 2000 sf car dependent suburban house set to 18C in the summer and 26C in the winter as well as running dryers, dish washers etc regularly.
So because people do laundry and heat their home in -30C they should also just go balls to the wall with every other form of energy just because? I don't drive partly because I'm sick of oil-everything. It's not hypocritical if you do your bit when you can.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,019 posts, read 14,302,027 times
Reputation: 11032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post

And, please think about whether you actually want to do this. It's a lot of crappy labour in a somewhat isolated end of the province. This is really dirty work and (sorry, I know you don't want the lecture but I can't let it go in good conscience..) it's questionable work morally, since it's extremely hard on the environment, a hot topic for the health of residents nearby (native and otherwise), and in general it's oil - a limited, disposable resource that we should be trying to do away with. Everyone I know who is young and has moved there from my town seems to be a closeminded thug with little other job prospects; you might find yourself not very stimulated by these people.
This coming from someone in Sudbury...

Inco Limited Named Worst Mining Polluter in Canada (24 Jul 03) International Groups Decry Barrick Go

...Sudbury, Ontario is one of the world's most polluted areas. A century of industrial activities has resulted in thousands of acidified lakes and vast areas of denuded land. Restoration and Recovery of an Industrial Region - Progress in Restoring the Smelter-Damaged Landscape

For more than 100 years, pollution from the local industries poured into the environment. The town was the biggest producer of acid rain-causing chemicals in North America, and the region became notorious for its landscape, stripped by acid rain.
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