It's getting harder to find next-gen construction talent

by Steve Randall23 Oct 2017
Young Canadians are not attracted to a career in construction, exacerbating the labour shortage in the industry.

With many construction workers nearing retirement and demand for homes increasing through population growth and a rise in single-occupancy homes, the need for young workers to enter the industry is stronger than ever.

But the BC Construction Association says there are fewer high school graduates entering the industry, the first time the share has dipped since the association began monitoring stats four years ago.

Last year, 1 in 69 grade12s joined the industry but this year the share is down slightly to 1 in 70.

“In order to fill the predicted shortage of 14,200 construction tradespeople, 1 in 12 high school graduates need to enter the trades over the next few years” comments Chris Atchison, BCCA President.  “Although the predicted shortage of construction workers has decreased from 30,000, there’s still a significant gap and the demand for skilled workers remains high.”

The construction workforce in BC has grown this year, by 12%, but two thirds of the industry’s workers are over 45.

“With 35,000 young people unemployed and a projected skills gap of 14,000 in the construction industry, match-making opportunities seem clear,” says Atchison. “BCCA is offering very real opportunities for jobs and training through our skilled workforce programs like STEP and the LNG Canada Trades Training Fund.

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