On-Site Magazine

BuildForce concerned TD report downplayed impending skilled trades shortages


Construction Skills Development

BuildForce Canada is refuting a recent TD Economics report on shortages in Canada’s skilled trades, saying it may be masking the real and serious challenges facing the country’s construction industry. 

BuildForce estimates that over the next 10 years more than 200,000 workers—about 25 per cent of the construction workforce—will retire.

An aging workforce and Canada’s strong resource construction sector will put significant pressure on tight labour markets in Western Canada, northern Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, according to BuildForce.

Current shortages of carpenters, plumbers, electricians and welders are already threatening project schedules and production delays in Newfoundland and Labrador, BuildForce says, and the construction industry will be in tough to keep up with the demand for skilled workers in Alberta’s oil sands. In addition, many major mining and liquid natural gas projects are scheduled to start in British Columbia in the coming years.


“The reality is that there are, and will be, acute skilled trade challenges within the construction industry in parts of Canada that simply cannot be ignored,” said Rosemary Sparks, executive director of BuildForce Canada. “This is the time to be aggressive in planning for the future and promoting careers in skilled trades. Industry requires short-term and long-term strategies to ensure a skilled workforce is available to meet demand. Our economy also depends on it.”


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