Home » More than 18,000 Skilled Workers Needed in Atlantic Canada Major New Projects Stretching Available Workforce

More than 18,000 Skilled Workers Needed in Atlantic Canada Major New Projects Stretching Available Workforce

June 25, 2008

St. John’s – Major engineering and industrial construction projects In New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador will stretch Atlantic Canada’s workforce to the limit, according to the Construction Sector Council.

“We’ve got a record number of big projects planned or underway in the Atlantic region including a nuclear power plant, oil refinery projects, hydro and highway construction,” said Timothy Flood, President of John Flood and Sons Limited, the oldest construction company in Canada. “These projects require more skilled workers than we have available.”

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

Ongoing construction activity will keep Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island busy but replacing an older than average construction workforce will create a significant challenge towards the end of the forecast.

The report finds that Atlantic Canada will need more than 5,000 new trades people to meet demands for new construction. The age of Atlantic Canada’s workforce is above the national average. As a result an unprecedented 13,600 workers are needed to replace retiring baby boomers between now and 2016.

“With so many workers retiring, this makes attracting, training, and retaining skilled workers more important than ever,” said Carol MacCulloch, President of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia.

Major new industrial and engineering projects will require specific skilled trades.

“To remain competitive and attract industrial development we will have to step up training and recruitment efforts to find enough skilled workers to keep up, no doubt about it,” said Dermot Cain, Canadian Director, of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

The boom in large construction projects will also affect residential construction.

“We’ll see a burst in residential building in Atlantic Canada to accommodate workers coming in from out of province, “said Grant MacLeod, President of the PEI Residential Construction Sector Council. It’s a real domino effect.”

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 Atlantic labour market forecast visit our website: www.csc-ca.org.

For further information contact:

Bob Collins
Construction Sector Council
(cell) 416-399-0413