B.C. Will Need More Skilled Workers
A new forecast of labour supply and demand shows near-record levels of employment in British Columbia’s construction sector.
According to the Construction Sector Council (CSC), which releases its nine-year labour forecast annually, a projected increase in industrial and engineering investment will drive construction markets up–and industry stakeholders are already planning to meet the demand for workers.
The demand for workers in BC’s construction industry will fluctuate over the next decade, depending on the region and sector, says the CSC.
“The keys to managing the industry’s needs are mobility and flexibility of the workforce, and skilled-worker training,” said Clyde Scollan, president of the Construction Labour Relations Association of British Columbia.
The new report, Construction Looking Forward, 2012 to 2020 Key Highlights for British Columbia, says non-residential work is unevenly distributed across regions, with the mining, pipeline, industrial and utility projects in the north dominating gains for the next few years, while commercial, institutional and civil work is weaker in the south.
“Industry will need to meet labour demand requirements through worker mobility, including regional moves by workers within the province, south to north, and potentially workers from outside our province or country to meet peak demands,” said Scollan. “Both short- and long-term worker training will have to be a focus to help meet the labour demand on the industrial and engineering projects in remote areas.”
The report estimates that another 11,000 construction jobs will be created in the province from 2012 to 2020. With another 33,200 workers expected to retire in the same timeframe, industry will need to recruit more than 44,000 workers over the next decade to meet industry demand requirements.
The CSC recently released another report showing similar increases in Saskatchewan.