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Canadian women filling construction gaps


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June 27, 2013 by STAFF REPORT

With the baby boomer generation inching closer to retirement, the Canadian construction industry is turning more and more to women to replace retiring workers and keep up with growth.

The Construction Sector Council estimates during the next decade roughly 40 per cent of Canadian tradespeople will retire, and in Alberta alone, close to 40,000 construction workers will be needed over the next eight years.

BuildForce Canada also predicts the Canadian construction industry will need 252,000 new workers by 2021.

“Women are more than capable of doing the work,” said Ron Genereux, vice-president, major projects, Suncor Energy. “Anybody that’s ignoring half of the workforce is doing themselves a disfavour.”

Genereux added information sessions and career decision-making workshops have helped boost the numbers of Aboriginal woman interested in entering the trades. “We have seen a dramatic rise in the number of Aboriginal women who want to learn about career opportunities in construction.”

The Canadian construction industry currently employs 1.27 million Canadians and accounts for $109.8 billion (seven per cent) of Canada’s annual GDP.

Over the next 10 years Canada’s construction market is expected to become the fifth largest in the world due to demand for our natural resources and domestic projects to modernize infrastructure.


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