MRO Magazine

Putting skilled employees in the right jobs reduces company costs, says Alberta’s SAIT

Human Resources

April 8, 2015
By Bill Roebuck

Calgary, AB – Keeping skilled employees in the right jobs is still proving to be an important factor in the current economic climate, according to a new report recently released by the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA).

These findings are reinforced by numbers out of SAIT Polytechnic, indicating a significant increase in applied management training by corporations.

The HRIA Alberta HR Trends Report indicates companies who invest the time and energy in training will see a positive impact on their bottom line. The report says employee turnover costs range from $13,000 to $20,000 per staff member, depending on the size of the organization.

Rod Miller, associate vice-president of Corporate Training Solutions at SAIT, says there has been a 163% increase in demand for applied management training over the past five years and it shows no sign of slowing down.


“There’s a significant amount of pressure on managers and supervisors to successfully navigate through organizational challenges without losing productivity,” says Miller. “The fluctuating economy means — more so than ever — companies are looking to be more efficient and effective at their business and training plays an important role in that.”

Enbridge is one company that is keeping training and development a top priority.

Training proves beneficial at Enbridge

“We believe employee development is critical to the success of Enbridge,” says Steve Brierley, director, executive development and organizational effectiveness at Enbridge Inc, Calgary. “We work to ensure our employees have access to a wide variety of training options through Enbridge University. We focus on practical skills such as project management, leadership, and communications that have a direct impact on productivity.”

HRIA says just because the hiring binge is over, it doesn’t mean employers aren’t focusing on elevating their business by strengthening the staff they have.

“Unfortunately, training and development budgets appear to be the low-hanging fruit and are often picked in an effort to reduce costs. However, this may be detrimental to an organization’s most important assets – its people,” says Chris McNelly, chief executive officer at HRIA.

“Employee training and development is a key driver of engagement, which directly [has an impact on] productivity. Therefore, to sustain their competitive advantage, organizations should increase their investment in training and development to ensure their people remain competent, productive and engaged.”

The research from HRIA followed another report from Deloitte University, indicating that 2015 will be a critical year for targeted investment in learning.

SAIT Polytechnic offers more than 100 career programs and over 1,400 part-time courses (including online and distance) in technology, trades and business. The school also collaborates with industry on applied research and delivers corporate training worldwide. SAIT has been recognized as being one of Alberta’s Top Employers, one of the top five research colleges in Canada and the Best Alberta Workplace for Training and Development. For details, visit