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B.C.’s construction labour demands require mobility and training


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March 9, 2012 by Andrew Snook

The construction industry’s skilled workforce in B.C. may be migrating north to meet labour demands in the near future.

A recent study by the Construction Sector Council (CSC) titled, Construction Looking Forward, 2012 to 2020 Key Highlights for British Columbia, states that non-residential work in the province is unevenly distributed across various regions, with mining, pipeline, industrial and utility projects in the north leading employment gains over the next few years.

The CSC’s report states that commercial, institutional and civil work is weaker in the southern regions of the province, and it estimates that B.C.’s construction labour force requirements will jump by 11,000 positions from 2012 to 2020 from increased construction activity, and need an additional 33,200 workers due to retirements.

In total, more than 44,000 additional workers will be needed to meet industry demands in the coming decade.

Clyde Scollan, president of the Construction Labour Relations Association of B.C., said the mobility and flexibility of the province’s workforce and skilled-worker training are the keys to managing the industry’s labour demands.

He added that the industry will also need to consider bringing in skilled workers from outside the province, or even the country, to keep up with peak demands.

Various sustainable recruiting efforts are currently being done by the industry including targeting various sources, such as youth, Aboriginal people, women, other industries and immigrants.

To check out the national and regional reports, visit: www.csc-ca.org