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Resource project instability challenge Newfoundland construction sector


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March 17, 2015 by STAFF REPORT

Major resource projects that have dominated the province’s 10-year construction boom will peak this year and create a second wave of new jobs starting in 2019, according to the latest forecast from BuildForce Canada.

“The challenge is sustaining a skilled workforce as major projects cycle up, down and up again over the forecast period,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “These employment shifts require long-range planning and a real industry focus on recruitment.” 

BuildForce Canada’s 2015-2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows major projects, from large mining, power stations and transmission lines to offshore drilling platforms, will drive construction hiring to a new peak in 2015. As these projects wind down, proposed new offshore resource developments drive a second, smaller wave of hiring later in the scenario period from 2019 to 2022. Residential activity slows over the next few years, driven by declines in new housing, before a marginal rise over the medium term with investment below the 2012 peak.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Renovation and maintenance employment remains unchanged across the scenario period.
  • Labour mobility is key, especially this year and from 2019 to 2022, to meet project demands and offset retirements.
  • Close to 6,000 workers are expected to retire over the next 10 years.

“That means attracting and training more young people now, to help offset the loss of more than a quarter of the workforce that’s heading into retirement,” added Sparks.

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’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca


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