Job open­ings to flood con­struc­tion sec­tor

Re­port sug­gests in­dus­try to fill 3,900 po­si­tions

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mike Moore

THE BuildForce re­port ti­tled Con­struc­tion Look­ing For­ward was re­leased this week. This re­port is a fore­cast of all con­struc­tion an­tic­i­pated to take place in Man­i­toba dur­ing the next 10 years and then as­sesses the labour mar­ket re­quired to prop­erly carry out th­ese projects. It tracks 34 dif­fer­ent trades and oc­cu­pa­tions in both res­i­den­tial and non­res­i­den­tial sec­tors. The res­i­den­tial seg­ment of this re­port noted a sig­nif­i­cant slow­down in new-home con­struc­tion for the past two years, along with a con­tin­ued de­mand for ren­o­va­tions. From now un­til 2025, it is an­tic­i­pated 3,300 re­tire­ments will fuel the de­mand for new en­trants into the res­i­den­tial-con­struc­tion em­ploy­ment mar­ket. In ad­di­tion, an­tic­i­pated mar­ket growth over time will cre­ate an­other 600 new jobs, mean­ing there will be open­ings for 3,900 peo­ple in the field. Ap­prox­i­mately 3,200 en­trants are an­tic­i­pated through the nor­mal chan­nels (high schools, col­leges, par­ents bring­ing off­spring into fam­ily busi­ness, ap­pren­tice­ships). That leaves 700 un­filled po­si­tions re­quir­ing new work­ers and new re­cruit­ment strate­gies. Re­tire­ments tend to be a planned and steady process. It isn’t an­tic­i­pated any one year will bring more than the next. How­ever, the ebb and flow of new hous­ing will cre­ate a much larger de­mand to­ward the end of this decade, lev­el­ling out into the next. This will mean a greater de­mand for new en­trants in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture, with stead­ier num­bers af­ter that. How will the in­dus­try fill th­ese va­can­cies? The ob­vi­ous an­swer is the re­cruit­ment of young peo­ple into a well-pay­ing ca­reer with ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­ni­ties for ad­vance­ment. This isn’t as easy as it should be in that our education sys­tem cou­pled with parental in­flu­ence does not lend it­self to en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple into ca­reers in con­struc­tion. The col­leges (Man­i­toba In­sti­tute of Trades and Tech­nol­ogy, Red River, Assini­boine) are get­ting the mes­sage and are cre­at­ing pro­grams that will en­able peo­ple to learn, train and di­rectly ac­cess the work­place. The Man­i­toba Con­struc­tion Sec­tor Coun­cil (www.mbcsc. com) of­fers a wealth of in­for­ma­tion on ca­reers in con­struc­tion with train­ing, on­line cour­ses and re­sources. Man­i­toba re­lies on im­mi­grants to main­tain and grow our pop­u­la­tion. Tar­get­ing skills in con­struc­tion when se­lect­ing suit­able can­di­dates would be a pos­i­tive step. Of course, ex-pat Man­i­to­bans who may have ven­tured west seek­ing their for­tune are now re­turn­ing, given the down­turn in the Al­berta econ­omy. Fi­nally, there is a fair amount of mo­bil­ity across the con­struc­tion work­force; those work­ing in the res­i­den­tial sec­tor may do some work in com­mer­cial and vice-versa. This flex­i­bil­ity gen­er­ally guar­an­tees de­mand. In sum­mary, pur­su­ing a ca­reer in res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion re­mains a pos­i­tive choice for Man­i­toba’s young peo­ple, now and for years to come.

Mike Moore is pres­i­dent of the Man­i­toba Home Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

A re­port sug­gests as many as 3,900 jobs will open up in the con­struc­tion sec­tor dur­ing the next decade.

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