Severe labour shortages are expected to hit Canada's oil and gas industry, and experts say there's no way around it.

The Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada released its findings Tuesday, projecting that over 30 per cent of the workplace will retire within 10 years.

Some oil and gas companies are already coping with chronic shortages in certain occupations, but it will become more widespread by 2013.

That means at least 39,000 workers will be needed. And as the industry expands, an additional 130,000 new positions will be created.

"We started to see shortages even during the downturn with specific skill areas and in specific geographic areas," said Cheryl Knight, CEO of the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada.

"So once oil prices picked up and oil sands projects went back on track, all of a sudden it is starting to hit us in spades. So the industry is turning attention to this as a top priority."

A variety of strategies are being put in place to deal with the shortages, including collaboration between industry sectors and working with post-secondary institutions.