On-Site Magazine

Ironworker Jamie McMillan to keynote CIQS Congress

By Adam Freill   

Construction Labour Leadership News Skills Development Women in Construction

Motivational speaker, journeyman ironworker, apprentice boilermaker, author and advocate for skilled trades and technology to discuss the labour shortage and what can be done about it.

Jamie McMillan will be the keynote speaker at CIQS Congress 2022. (Photo courtesy of KickAss Careers)

Jamie McMillan, founder of KickAss Careers – a company named by a group of high school students – will be the keynote speaker at the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS) Congress 2022 on Saturday, June 18. KickAss Careers was founded by Jamie McMillan and Pat Williams in 2014 as a school and community outreach program to promote skilled trades to young men and women.

“There is a huge shortage of skilled trades workers,” McMillan states on the KickAss Careers website. “The shortage has been caused by, in addition to the number of people retiring, the failure of many schools to promote the skilled trades to students.”

McMillan became an ironworker in 2002 and she has since worked on construction sites across the country. After founding KickAss Careers, she now divides her time between practicing her trade in the field and travelling throughout North America to lead presentations and workshops aimed at students, parents, educators and employers. For her work promoting the skilled trades to today’s youth, she has won the Top 20 under 40 Award, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Champion Award, the District School Board of Niagara Technology Education Partnership Award, and the Hamilton YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

She is also the co‐founder of the Workplace Equality Awareness Ribbon (WE Ribbon) Campaign, a member of the YWCA Equitable Pathways Advisory Committee, co‐author of a colouring book series titled All the kids on Builder Street, and she was co‐chair of the National Skilled Trades Advisory Committee for the Canadian Federal Government, an initiative to design a campaign promoting skilled trades as a career choice for youth.


She will be speaking with CIQS Congress delegates about the quantity surveying profession and how the current labour shortages are affecting this area of the construction industry.

CIQS is a self-regulatory, professional body engaged in protecting the ethics and standards for construction and infrastructure economics in Canada. Its membership includes designated Professional Quantity Surveyors (PQS) and Construction Estimator Certified (CEC) professionals who counsel building owners, developers, government bodies, designers and contractors at every stage of the design, procurement and construction process to help ensure a return on investment is delivered.

Scheduled for June 16 to 18 at the Westin Ottawa, CIQS Congress 2022 is the organization’s first in-person Congress since 2019 and will feature networking opportunities as well as two full days of technical sessions.







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