OTTAWA – The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced new support for the Construction Sector Council to address skilled labour shortages in the construction industry.
Speaking on the federal government's plan to meet Canada's labour market challenges at the Canadian Building and Construction Trades' Legislative Conference, Minister Solberg announced new investments totalling more than $5.5 million over the next three years. This funding will help the construction industry by providing increased labour market information, addressing recruitment and retention issues and broadening the Construction Sector Council's outreach initiatives.
"Government can't address labour market problems by itself, but private sector and government partnerships are working," said Minister Solberg. "Today's investment in the Construction Sector Council is an example of the strategic partnerships our government develops to ensure that Canada has the best-educated, most-skilled and most flexible work force in the world. We are supporting one of Canada's largest industries so that construction jobs can be filled with employees who have the right skills."
The Government of Canada is providing $4.5 million to the Construction Sector Council's Labour Market Information Program. This will allow the construction industry to respond effectively and efficiently to the industry's demand for decision-making tools to help address human resources issues in a timely manner. It will also enable decision makers to evaluate the magnitude of construction labour shortages in specific regions, so that action can be taken.
A second contribution of $258,000 will allow the Construction Sector Council to explore the potential of retaining older workers to improve the sustainability of the construction labour force. As well, the Council will use this funding to get the most from all available labour pools and target specific audiences such as Aboriginal people, women, older workers, immigrants and temporary foreign workers. Finally, new funding of $829,000 will allow the Council to continue to expand its role as the national focal point for work force development in the construction industry, and to increase its outreach to partners at all levels-local, regional, national and even international.
"The Construction Sector Council appreciates the Government of Canada's continued commitment to the construction industry's work force development," said Mr. George Gritziotis, Executive Director of the Construction Sector Council. "Thanks to this contribution, the Council will be able to take on a new project to better serve the construction industry, while exploring new solutions to upcoming skills shortages, and broadening our outreach activities to build and maintain partnerships in Canada, and across the world."
Sector councils play a vital role in helping to strengthen the labour market, thereby contributing to the productivity and competitiveness of the economy and the standard of living of all Canadians. They bring together government, business, labour and educational stakeholders in key sectors to share ideas, concerns and perspectives about work force issues. Canada's sector councils have been successful at meeting emerging skills requirements, addressing skills and labour shortages, and building essential skills in the workplace as a foundation for continuous learning.
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