277,000 construction workers needed within the next decade
Submitted by BC Building Trades
According to BuildForce Canada, which monitors trends in the construction sector and provides labour market intelligence to industry, as many as 277,000 new construction workers will be needed this decade alone to meet labour requirements and counter rising retirement rates.
BuildForce recommends stepping up recruitment efforts aimed at new Canadians, women and Indigenous workers to help manage the shortage.
“Labour Day and the start of September is a perfect time for young people to start thinking about career options,” said Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the BC Building Trades. “A career in the skilled trades is well-paid and in demand.”
And all trades are not the same. From electrician to carpenter to plumber to insulator to heavy equipment operator, there are options for every interest and aptitude. The skilled trades shortage also means there will be no shortage of work in the coming years.
In fact, two upcoming public infrastructure projects — the Pattullo Bridge replacement and the widening of Highway 1 between Kamloops and the B.C./Alberta border — will mean hundreds of jobs. These projects will be completed under the provincial government’s new Community Benefits framework, which sets a goal of 25 per cent apprentices on the projects.
“That means a significant number of workers who are new to the trades will have an opportunity to build their province, and the skills they learn will help secure their future in the industry long after the ribbon has been cut marking the completion of each project.”