On-Site Magazine

Strong employment opportunities for construction workers in Newfoundland and Labrador

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March 27, 2012 by CNW

The construction workforce in Newfoundland and Labrador will swell over the next several years as major resource projects get underway.

Major projects in electric utilities, mining and offshore oil will be the key drivers of non-residential construction employment. Between 2012 and 2015, an estimated 2,200 new jobs will be created.

While the major industrial and engineering projects dominate the market, the forecast includes a moderate and steady growth in the commercial and institutional sectors across the scenario period. “Where these sectors hire the same key trades as the major industry projects, employers will face recruiting challenges and potential shortages over the near term,” says Rhonda Neary, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association.

The data is from the latest forecast of labour supply and demand published by the Construction Sector Council (CSC): Construction Looking Forward, 2012 to 2020 Key Highlights for Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Our challenge will be to find enough skilled workers given the increase in construction activity and the large number of upcoming retirements,” adds Neary.

According to the report, an estimated 4,200 workers or 28 per cent of the current workforce is expected to retire over the next decade.

“There will be plenty of job opportunities in the province,” says David Wade, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Building and Construction Trades Council. “While employment demands for the current list of major projects is expected to peak in 2015, there are several large projects that are still under review, but not yet included in our analysis because of uncertainty around proposed schedules. The addition of these potential projects would alter the long-term market conditions and increase labour demand requirements as they come on stream later in the scenario.”

Following a decade of strong growth, residential construction spending and employment decline across the scenario period. The forecast shows an estimated loss of more than 1,000 jobs between 2012 and 2020 in the residential sector. “These losses will be partially offset by the steady rise in renovation and maintenance work,” says Victoria Belbin, chief executive officer of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Newfoundland and Labrador.

Each year, the CSC releases nine-year scenario-based labour forecasts following consultations with industry leaders, including owners, contractors and labour groups, as well as governments and educational institutions.

The national and regional reports will be available online at www.csc-ca.org this spring. Forecast data is also available at www.constructionforecasts.ca.