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B.C. Construction Employment Expected To Reach Unprecedented High

February 20, 2014
British Columbia  – B.C.’s construction industry will need to ramp up recruitment efforts to keep pace with planned projects and the retirement of more than 34,000 workers over the next decade, according to BuildForce Canada. 
The 2014–2023 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast released today by BuildForce Canada shows major resource and infrastructure projects in the North help drive construction employment to an all-time high in 2017. 
“Recruitment efforts will need to focus on attracting workers from outside the province to bolster the local skilled workforce,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “This may mean competing for skilled labour with resource projects in other provinces.” 
BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows: 
  • Non-residential construction dominates job creation over the next decade. Employment growth accelerates each year to 2017, as major LNG projects and related pipeline work are expected to begin, along with a series of mining, electricity generation and transmission projects.
  • A brief surge in new housing in 2016 and 2017 coincides with the peak in non-residential projects and adds to potential labour market challenges. Through the rest of the scenario period, a gradual increase in housing stock results in steady gains in renovation and new housing construction jobs. 
“About 24 percent of the province’s skilled workforce is retiring over the next 10 years,“ added Sparks. “This creates unique challenges, given that retiring tradespeople in both housing and non-residential construction will be taking years of experience and specialized skills out of the labour force.” 
BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization committed to providing accurate and timely labour market data and analysis to assist in meeting workforce requirements and advancing the needs of Canada’s construction industry. BuildForce consults with industry stakeholders, including owners, contractors, labour groups and government to compile and validate its labour market information. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca
For further information sontact:
Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada
Funded by the Government of Canada