June 23, 2009
Construction to ‘lead Canada out of recession,’ Construction Sector Council says
CSC foresees labour shortage in coming years
The construction industry is poised to play a major role in leading Canada out of the recession, the Construction Sector Council (CSC) says.
“We know there are construction projects right across Canada that are ready to go,” said George Gritiziotis, executive director of the Construction Sector Council.
“The construction industry could play a major role in building a stronger economy, depending on the timing and implementation of government-funded projects.”
Federal and provincial government fiscal stimulus investments are expected to boost construction spending and employment over the next three years, offsetting the effects of a decline in housing starts and the temporary delays in major resource and industrial projects.
The information is contained in highlights of the Construction Sector Council’s annual national forecast of labour market trends called “Construction Looking Forward.”
The forecast shows that 317,000 skilled workers will be needed between now and 2017. That’s a record high. To meet the expected rise in construction activity in the longer term, 149,000 workers will be required.
Another 168,000 construction workers will be needed to replace retiring Baby Boomers over the forecast period.
“The demand for skilled labour over the next decade will reach an all time high,” said Robert Blakely, Director of Canadian Affairs, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. “Government and industry have to step up their recruiting efforts, career promotion and training to build the skilled workforce Canada will need.”
The pace of construction activity will accelerate between 2013 and 2017.
“If there was ever a time to plan and prepare the construction industry for the economic upturn, this is it,” said Tim Flood, Business Co-Chair of the Construction Sector Council.
As a result of government-backed institutional, transportation and energy projects, Quebec has sustained employment growth through the recession.
Proposed major projects in mining, manufacturing and utility industries coupled with government infrastructure and industrial projects are sustaining employment growth in British Columbia. In Ontario, construction labour markets will experience a soft landing compared to other industries, while in Alberta employment slows after more than a decade of extraordinary growth.
Momentum is also being created by new and ongoing projects in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador.
When combined with government stimulus initiatives, these projects which have helped to sustain construction employment.
The Construction Sector Council, a national organization committed to developing a highly skilled workforce was created in April of 2001, and is financed by both government and industry. The CSC is a partnership between labour and business.
It has become a respected voice for commentary and perspective on labour market trends.
DCN News Services
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