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Skilled Trades Workers Returning Home to Saskatchewan Construction at Record Levels with Surge in New Projects

June 10, 2008

Regina – More skilled trades workers are moving back to Saskatchewan to help the construction industry keep pace with record construction activity, according to the latest forecast by the Construction Sector Council.

“Saskatchewan is now a major draw in the fierce Canada-wide competition for skilled labour,” said Michael Fougere, President of the Saskatchewan Construction Association. “With more residents coming back, new immigrants coming in, and apprenticeship programs on the rise, the construction industry is doing everything possible to meet the challenges created by this construction boom.”

The information is contained in the Construction Sector Council’s (CSC) fourth annual edition of “Construction Looking Forward,” a detailed forecast of labour market trends from 2008 to 2016 for Saskatchewan.

The report shows that since 2001, Saskatchewan’s construction workforce has grown twice as fast as the overall provincial labour force at 11%. Over the next few years, construction employment will increase by 14% or 3,800 workers. Still another 4,000 workers will be required between now and 2016 to keep pace with retiring baby boomers.

“We’re seeing more residential and non residential projects, and a shift to big resource based industrial and engineering projects,” said Sid Matthews, President of the CLR Construction Labour Relations Association of Saskatchewan Inc. “With more work than workers we have to compete with other provinces for skilled people in just about every construction trade.”

Manufacturing investment in Saskatchewan is at an all time high. Several projects are underway or scheduled, including ethanol and food processing plants, potash and uranium mine expansions. “The surge in industrial and engineering investment in Saskatchewan shows us where the opportunities are,” said Terry Parker, Business Manager of the Saskatchewan Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council. “Apprenticeship programs should be targeted to match emerging demands and attract far more youth, women and Aboriginals.”

Construction activity will remain strong over the next few years.

“That means we have to be more aggressive in promoting careers in construction and making investments in training,” said Alan Thomarat, Executive Vice President of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association - Saskatchewan. “It’s an investment in the people and skills that are in high demand in Canada.”

As one of the largest industries in Canada, construction employs more than a million Canadians. As many as 250,000 construction workers are needed across Canada by 2016 to keep pace with new projects and retirements.

The Construction Sector Council is a national organization committed to developing a highly skilled workforce – one that will support the future needs of the construction industry in Canada. Created in April of 2001, and financed by both government and industry, the CSC is a partnership between labour and business.

The CSC’s “Construction Looking Forward” national and regional forecasts provide colleges, labour and industry with accurate information on labour supply and demand to support the future needs of the construction industry in Canada.

For a copy of the Saskatchewan labour market forecast visit our website: www.csc-ca.org

For Further Information Contact:
Michael Fougere
Saskatchewan Construction Association
Chair, Saskatchewan LMI Committee
Ph. (306) 525-0171

Rosemary Sparks
Construction Sector Council
Office (905) 852-9186
Cell (416)-271-2633