Read The Forum Rules: We have a clear set of rules to keep the forum running smoothly. Click here to review them.

Post Reply 
Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Author Message
RCS Offline

Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2013
Reputation: 1
Post: #2471
Smile RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Good evening gentlemen, it's been a while. First I have some answers to a few q's that came in an email from Dejan that I fuckwittedly overlooked (sorry man) then I'll provide an update about life in general.

Hi Swearbox, I hope that you don't mind to answer some more questions for me.

For the apprentice position do you have to relocate or you can choose to stay in a camp with FI/FO program?.....They would like you to relocate but you don't have to as they have a camp here (crap I'm told). They do FI/FO to Calgary & Edmonton but they are looking into BC and Ontario as well and they hope to have something in place very soon.

With $25/h I hope that apprentices work 84h/week? Might as well work some mad OT while you there.....Apprentices are on $26.57/hr. Labourers are on two different hourly rates depending upon experience $25.55/hr & $28.57/hr. We work what is called a compressed work week...our shift is 8 on 6 off and we work 80 hrs per shift. OT is rare but some people get lots of it depending on trade. I even got a few hours myself a couple of shifts ago :-)

Also I was thinking to challenge first 2 years here in Ontario but I think I read somewhere on this thread that unless you are a Red Seal nothing else is recognized if it's not done in Alberta. Do you know anything about that...the best thing is to try to get indentured first then challenge while you are here. The only issue would be your hours and satisfying the Apprenticeship & Industry Training folks that you satisfy their requirements for challenging those 2 years. Without the hours you are nothing and regardless of which level of schooling you pass you won't get paid at that grade until you meet that hourly (and time in years) requirement. Having said that I think there's a blackmarket Red Seal JM certificate issuer operating outside of Alberta if some of the JM I know are anything to go by ;-)

And one more thing, that signing on bonus is that only for people that choose to relocate or for anyone who gets hired....Only for those who choose to live locally (ie not in camp). $5k for the labourers and $10k for the trades BUT they have you by the balls for three years if you take it as they will ask for it back if you quit or get fired (all of it in yr1, 50% in yr2, %25 in yr3). Personally I'll be telling them to fuck off if I leave...they aren't getting it back.

Right, that's the Q&A sorted so here's the scoop on life at Long Lake. It's still fucking cold though there are signs of things warming up and thankfully the road surface on the 63 & 881 is decent again (well, except for the shitty patch jobs they did on 881 which would give tanks a run for their money).

We still appear to have a contract with Nexen though fuck knows how as most of the guys I joined with have either quit or been fired. The company is still hiring pretty much all trades plus labourers HOWEVER some dopey fucker took the decision a couple of weeks ago to lay off ALL the Instrument apprentices (me included) on both shifts "as part of their Journeyman to apprentice ratio realignment". So now the ratio is exactly 1:0.

I was offered the chance to stay on as a labourer (with a payrise LOL) which I took since I haven't secured a job elsewhere though now is the time for openings to start appearing. In fact earlier today i applied to Pyramid for a gig at CNRL which I wouldn't be too disappointed to get but getting hired on as a first yr apprentice is fucking hard going as they really only want 3rd & 4ths if they are honest.

There's been a bunch of other shit gone down but you never know who reads these pages so I'll keep a lid on that. That pretty much brings me up to date. For anyone out there who is on the outside looking in who has half a brain and a bit of motivation there's tons of opportunity here. There's a posting elsewhere in this thread (October I think) that details how I got started out here. 1 phone call from my home in Ontario to my current company's HR department was all it took followed up by jumping through a few hoops in a very short space of time. If you're worried it might not work out don't be...get the offer of employment secured, beg borrow or steal the dough to get here and in 6 months time you'll be kicking yourself wondering why the fuck you didn't do this ten years ago...I am.

Stay safe Wink

RCS aka Swearbox
04-01-2014 12:49 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like RCS's post:
Vacancier Permanent, Dejan
Post Reply 

Messages In This Thread
Risks, opportunities, import/export - OSL - 03-16-2013, 06:58 AM
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months! - RCS - 04-01-2014 12:49 AM