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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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Linotype Offline

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Post: #914
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(02-01-2013 05:37 AM)Scoop Wrote:  This is the most remarkable thread I have ever come across. It took me ages to read it all and then a week before I could post a reply. My thanks to everyone who has contributed and especially Scotian who started it and who has filled it with positive energy.

I’m hoping that a couple of you may be able to give me some advice.

I’m English and I’m 50 years old. A long time ago I did a BSc and a Masters degree in Civil Engineering. I worked in construction for 4 years and then I started my own business in wholesale, nothing to do with engineering. For many years I did very well but one bad investment left me on the ropes.

As the recession hit I started a business cleaning wheelie bins (trash cans) in my town in England, which I reckon is a bit like Scotian’s “100 miles East of Buttfuck Nowhere”. I did OK and with my wife’s salary we got along.

Sadly my wife became ill recently (cancer) and she has had to stop work. She’s ok and treatment has gone really well, but she just can’t work. This has left me with a broken heart and a financial problem, and with two kids (17 and 12) things are getting tight.

I thought about the oil sands a while ago. My sister emigrated to Canada twenty years ago and now lives in Calgary. I’ve got free accommodation there for as long as I want, a luxury most aren’t fortunate enough to have. I’m old but I’m keen. I’m 6’5” and I can work long hours in bad weather. I don’t care what I do. I’m perfectly happy for someone to say “There’s your shovel and there’s your shit” as long as I get paid. I speak and write fluent French, having worked in France for 13 years (although I never met a Canadian who actually spoke French outside Quebec. It’s just on the banknotes and the tins of sweetcorn, so not much use in AB).

The problem is that in order to get a job I need a Temporary Work Permit. And in order to get a Temporary Work Permit I need a job. And as Scotian and others have pointed out, the best way to get a job at my level is to turn up in person.

So I’m ready to roll. Thanks to the guidance on this thread I can do all the things Irishman and others so brilliantly did and get my driving licence and certificates, and a $500 truck (I’m already dreaming about my $500 truck) and hustle with my CV. But if I get a job then I have to come back to England and wait about 90 days for my work permit. Will any employer keep a job open for that long for a shit-shoveller? And my age? The whole thrust of this thread is that it’s a young mans game. I’m as strong and fit as most 25 year olds but I can’t hide the fact that I am 50 years old. Is that “we’ll give you a try” age, or is it “piss off and die” age?

I want to come. I think I can give something to the Oil Sands. But I can’t go on a vacation to Calgary and then find out that I’m no use to anyone. I can’t waste that kind of money. So my question is really do I stand a reasonable chance of finding a job?

I know some might wonder why I would want to leave my wife when she’s ill but she’s the one cheerleading me on to get out to Alberta.
02-01-2013 07:24 AM
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - Linotype - 02-01-2013 07:24 AM
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM