Out-of-work Canadian energy workers get ‘Edge Up’ on competition with new pilot project

A pilot project is now up and running to help displaced Canadian oil and gas professionals transition into high-demand, high-growth digital technology jobs in Calgary.

The EDGE UP: Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Project is a $1.5 million, federally funded short-term skills development program for mid-career oil and gas professionals such as engineers and geoscientists. Through EDGE UP, students will be trained in information technology project management, data analytics or software development.

Senior geologist Ryan Morrison is one of about 50 participants — out of 500 applicants — to participate in this first round. He was nervous about essentially starting over as a software developer, but added he was also more than ready.

“The last time I was working full time was 2015,” he said.

Another participant, Lora Dunford, had full time work until October 2019. After the 20-year veteran chemical technologist was laid off, she knew it was time to start looking at another career.

“I’m tired of the instability,” she said. “It’s hard.”

“I was looking for something that was a lot more stable. Something that I can enjoy, do my work and not worry, ‘Oh is it going to be next week? Is it going to be next month? Am I still going to have a job?’”

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