The green light to begin construction on the Trans Mountain Expansion hasn't quite been given, but pipeline construction company Surerus Murphy is starting the hunt for people to put the pipe in the ground.
The contractor, based in Calgary, has been tasked with the 5A section of the pipeline, which will be the Kamloops and Merritt pieces.
Heather Eddy, company director of human resources and development, says construction of their section is expected to last somewhere between 30 and 34 months, peaking for a six-month stretch in the middle.
"When we're fully ramped up we'll have over 600 people working on our section of the pipeline," she says. "We really do intend to hire as many local and Indigenous employees as possible."
While many of those positions haven't been determined yet, hiring for some advance positions has begun, she says, with leadership and administration positions at the forefront. Sub-contractors are also being lined up early on. A slow ramp-up will occur over time before the peak is reached.
"As we finish main construction then numbers will decline again," she says. "(But) some of the jobs will be there the whole time."
She adds that the start date hasn't been set by Trans Mountain yet and some numbers are still changing, meaning exact job numbers aren't available yet.
The bulk of the jobs will be labourers and operators, Eddy explains, but there's going to be a variety of skills, training and experience needed.
Mechanics, welders, environmental advisers, health and safety personnel, human resource, and procurement specialists are all due to be hired.
While certain jobs will need specific skills and training, the one thing everyone will need is pipeline construction safety training.
The course can be done online in about six hours, or in a classroom. Eddy says it usually runs around $100 to $125 for the course.
Eddy and her team are looking to fill specific roles right now, but they're taking in all resumes and keeping them on file for when they do start hiring for all positions.