September 9, 2015 by STAFF REPORT
As Canada marked Labour Day this week, the construction industry is recognizing the contributions of 1.3 million Canadians who build, repair and maintain a whopping $2.1 trillion worth of infrastructure each year.
“We’re very proud of our one million strong construction workforce,” says Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “Labour Day is an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for what’s been built, and to welcome the thousands of new faces who will lead the industry and build Canada into the future.”
Canada’s construction industry is undergoing the most dramatic demographic shift in its history. Over the next decade up to 250,000 workers, who make up one-quarter of Canada’s construction workforce, are retiring. They’re making way for a new wave of younger workers who will fill new positions as baby boomers retire over the next 10 years.
“Right now the average age of a construction worker is 41,” adds Sparks. “A decade from now, the workforce will look much different, as the industry promotes construction careers in more than 50 trades and occupations, to a younger generation.”
Calli Zwierschke is part of that changing face of construction. The 24-year-old began her career in the skilled trades five years ago, and is proud to be an apprentice electrician.
“It’s a career that allows you to build skills for life,” says Zwierschke. “It’s a fantastic lifestyle with the flexibility and opportunity to apply your skills anywhere in the world.”
BuildForce has been reaching out to the next generation of construction workers where they live – online. Using YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms, BuildForce has reached more than 3 million Canadians aged 15 to 25 who visited its redesigned Careers in Construction website at www.careersinconstruction.ca.
BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’sconstruction and maintenance workforce.