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Narry Ramnath

Safety, Health & Environment Coordinator

It’s great to work for a company that listens and has the best interests of its employees in mind.

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“I've been with Syncrude for over 10 years and can attest that the safety of employees is the organization's most important priority. I've worked in safety for three years and prior to that I was a front line supervisor, so safety has always been at the forefront of everything I do. Safety is everybody's responsibility and it's something that we have to make sure is a fundamental cultural value; that everyday workers are looking out for one another and that leaders are ensuring their workers are following the proper procedures and requirements. At the same time, employees are encouraged to provide feedback to their leaders about what is working well or what may need improving. It's great to work for a company that listens and has the best interests of its employees in mind.”

People

Performance Overview

  • Recognized as one of Alberta's top employers and best workplaces
  • $1 million in scholarships awarded to children of employees
  • President and CEO holds town hall meetings with employees

Our Commitment

Syncrude's employees are key to our success and are our most valued asset. We encourage their achievement of high quality results by creating an environment that fosters teamwork, mutual respect and measured risk-taking. We make every effort to acknowledge their contributions and celebrate successes through highly competitive compensation, recognition and development programs.

Labour Pool Initiatives

High School Technology Centre

Supported by Syncrude, a technology centre that opened in September 2011 at Fort McMurray's Father Patrick Mercredi High School is enabling students to access equipment and learning opportunities not usually offered at the high school level. The centre gives the students insight into various engineering specialties and works to influence their future career path decisions. In particular, students can receive credits toward a high school diploma while, at the same time, have the opportunity to meet requirements for a 4th Class Power Engineering certificate.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships in recognized trades and technologies can be accessed through Syncrude directly or via two widely available programs in which Syncrude participates. The Community Cooperative Apprenticeship Program is an industry-driven education partnership providing training through annual rotating work placements. The Registered Apprenticeship Program is offered to high-school students in the form of work experience courses, Career and Technology Studies courses, and part-time employment.

Introduced in 2009, the Syncrude Aboriginal Trades Preparation Program prepares participants to pursue trades apprenticeship training through academic upgrading and work experience placements at our operation. Upon successful completion, students are eligible to become indentured apprentices at Syncrude which is the lead sponsor. The program is available at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, as well as learning centres in Janvier, Fort Chipewyan and Fort McKay. Twenty-three students graduated from the program in 2012. It is currently being restructured to enhance learning and program delivery. 

Co-Op/Discipline Students

Every year, Syncrude provides work terms of varying lengths for about 200 co-op/discipline students, who come to Syncrude from post-secondary schools across Canada. About 60 students are on-site at any given time. During their time with Syncrude, the students gain valuable work experience in their field of study, and work alongside knowledgeable experts. In addition to competitive wages, the students also receive paid transportation to and from Fort McMurray; along with paid accommodation, internet and cable.

Social Coop Students

 

Social Coop Students

Syncrude Higher Education Awards Program

Children of Syncrude employees can qualify for up to $2,400 for each year of their post-secondary degree or diploma education. About $1 million in program scholarships was granted to 558 applicants (returning and new) in 2012.

CEO Engages with Employees

Syncrude President and CEO Scott Sullivan engaged with the company's entire employee population over the course of 28 meetings held in early 2012. The sessions were designed to foster feedback from employees as much as share information about corporate direction, goals and challenges. Topics included commuting, compensation and benefits, career development, plant reliability, environmental performance and future growth plans. Management was also able to update employees on the progress made regarding issues raised in the 2011 forums. 

Workforce by the Numbers

 
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Total permanent workforce
         
5,284 5,580 5,689 5,515 5,083
% under age 20
         
0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0
% age 20-24
         
8.0 7.6 6.9 5.2 4.7
% age 25-29
         
13.1 13.9 14.2 14.3 14.2
% age 30-34
         
12.2 14.0 14.1 14.5 15.1
% age 35-39
         
11.6 11.5 12.1 11.8 12.1
% age 40-44
         
12.3 12.1 12.0 12.4 13.0
% age 45-49
         
14.2 14.1 13.7 14.0 14.4
% age 50-54
         
16.2 15.2 15.2 14.8 15.7
% age 55-59
         
9.4 9.1 9.0 10.9 8.4
% over age 60
         
2.3 2.4 2.6 2.1 2.5
Workforce - temporary and casual
         
160 109 102 145 133
Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements (%)
         
0 0 0 0 0
New permanent employees - all categories
All categories
         
1,102 805 569 234 326
Trades and operators
         
817 539 395 172 189
Administrative, professional and technical
         
285 266 174 62 137
New employees - diversity
Aboriginal
         
74 87 59 36 32
Female
         
225 164 111 45 88
Recruiting effectiveness
New hire acceptance rate (% of offers)
         
80 88 88 89 94
Local hires (% of all new hires)
         
68 68 72 71 76
Job applications received (#)
         
70,257 47,302 44,343 25,452 57,899
Ratio of standard entry level wage to minimum wage2
         
3.5 3.5 3.6 3.5 3.5
  1. Fewer applications in 2011 reflect a reduced number of job postings during the year.
  2. Based on basic wage for entry level trades/operators position and Alberta hourly minimum wage of each reporting year.

Human Resources Scorecard

 
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Employee Productivity
Thousand barrels of crude oil per employee
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
20,029 18,309 18,815 19,075 20,637
Average employee service (in years)
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
10.1 9.4 9.2 9.6 9.5
Leadership Development
% of leaders completed Leadership Excellence Program
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
78 53 57 60 59
% of leaders completed Diversity Workshop
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
55 61 64 69 61
% of leaders completed Harassment & Discrimination Workshop
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
53 51 64 73 65
Diversity
Aboriginal representation:
Number of Employees
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
435 479 484 492 474
% of permanent Syncrude workforce
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
8.1 8.4 8.4 8.6 9.1
% of new hires
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
6.7 10.8 10.4 15.4 9.8
Aboriginal leaders (% of permanent Syncrude leaders)
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
5.6 5.9 5.8 5.5 6.0
Female representation:
Number of Employees
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
991 1,036 1,011 950 958
% of permanent Syncrude workforce
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
19.3 19.2 18.9 18.6 18.8
Female leaders (% of permanent Syncrude leaders)
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
10.6 9.8 10.6 11.8 12.7
Attrition (% of Syncrude workforce)
All employees, including retirements
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
10.6 9.0 8.0 5.5 14.2
Employee initiated termination
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
7.2 4.2 4.0 2.6 7.4
Retirements
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
2.1 3.5 2.7 1.9 5.8
Aboriginal
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
11.9 9.8 10.2 5.6 10.4
Female
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
12.6 10.2 10.1 6.5 12.7
Trades and operators
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
10.0 9.1 6.9 4.9 12.1
Administrative, professional and technical
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
11.3 8.9 9.4 6.3 16.1
Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) utilization
# of clients as % of Syncrude workforce
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
7.3 13.7 16.7 18.5 16.3
Training
% hours in training per employee/per annum
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
1.3 1.1 1.1 1.0 0.8
Employee recognition
# of recognitions to employees1
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
10,902 12,143 5,912 6,415 5,081
Ethics
Anonymous submissions to EthicsPoint
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
10 11 16 13 11
  1. Includes service and safety awards.

 

Scholarships, Bursaries and Endowments

 
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Annual scholarships, bursaries and endowments ($)
         
858,000 1,018,000 1,054,800 940,415 1,033,200
Numbers of employee student scholarships
         
443 428 461 516 558
Number of tuition refunds to Syncrude employees
         
155 82 84 144 130

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Corporate Awards

Syncrude is proud to have received several corporate awards in 2012. These reinforce our efforts to be a favoured employer and a responsible oil sands producer.

Canada's Top Employers of Young People 2012 – adjudicators cited our apprenticeship, training & development programs, summer work placements for high school students, mentoring program and excellent starting benefits.

Alberta's Top Employers – Syncrude was cited for hiring incentives, flexible health benefits, savings plans, maternity leave coverage, helping employees balance work and personal life, and encouragement of employee development through training, mentoring and scholarships.

Alberta Venture Magazine Best Workplaces Awards 2012  Syncrude was named Best Workplace for Volunteerism and Community Involvement, and was also a runner-up in the Best Workplace for Diversity category. Judges highlighted Syncrude’s investment of more than $23 million in community projects since 2006, as well as the Good Neighbours grants program and the employee Get Effect giving campaign. As a runner-up in the diversity category, Syncrude was recognized for its Aboriginal relations program.