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Residential Building and Major Projects Help Sustain Employment in Saskatchewan

January 31, 2017

Modest gains in new home building this year, a second wave of planned mining, utility and pipeline projects, and a steady rise in maintenance work will help restore construction employment to previous highs by 2021, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“Construction employment will sustain at high levels as residential building and major projects cycle up and down this decade,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “Meeting rising labour requirements by 2020, will mean persuading many of the workers who may have left the province to head back.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2017-2026 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows new home construction is expected to recover this year, sustaining stable levels of residential employment through to 2022. After that, slower population growth reduces housing starts and related employment. Industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) building is expected to decline over the short term, then resume after 2019 depending on the timing of a series of planned utility, pipeline and mining projects. Employment will decline with the completion of major projects, however rising maintenance and sustaining capital work will help keep construction employment at relatively high levels.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Major projects are expected to add 2,200 jobs, a 15 percent increase by 2021;
  • Projects completions release more than 4,000 workers, with many absorbed by rising maintenance and other non-residential construction markets;
  • The need to replace over 9,000 workers expected to retire within ten years.

“Industry needs to stay focused on recruiting new workers even when construction growth slows,” added Sparks. “The slower economy compounds the challenge of replacing 17 percent of the skilled workforce that’s expected to retire this decade.”

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program

Second Smaller Wave of Construction Job Losses Forecast for Alberta

January 31, 2017

Alberta’s construction industry is projected to lose up to 11,000 jobs over the coming year as several large projects reach completion and low oil prices continue to limit new investment and growth, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“While a staggered recovery is expected to start next year, it won’t lift all sectors of construction until about 2024,”said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “It’s a complex transition period for industry that needs to ensure it has a skilled workforce trained and ready as the economy turns around.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2017-2026 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows that the pace of overall job losses will ease in 2017. However, the slumping oil and gas sector and the completion of major projects will drive non-residential construction employment still lower by 2018. Commercial and industrial building is expected to decline this year and next. Road, highway and bridge activity slows, with job losses only partially offset by infrastructure stimulus funding. The rise in shutdown/turnaround work results in periodic recruitment challenges for specialized trades, while continuing growth in sustaining and maintenance work becomes an important source of employment. As the economy improves, new housing construction picks up starting in 2018, with ICI building following suit. Recovery in oil sands and other engineering-related work likely won’t begin until  later in the forecast period. Although more moderate job growth is expected over the long term, unemployment rates will remain above average this decade compared to the last.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • A recovery in new housing activity projected in 2018 and 2019, which adds back 10,000 jobs. By 2026, residential employment is above 2016 levels by 10 percent;
  • A further loss of 9,300 oil sands construction jobs through to 2023 with recovery not expected until the following year;
  • The need to replace over 36,000 workers who are retiring this decade.

“The challenge for Alberta’s construction industry goes far beyond the economy,” added Sparks. “It has to prepare for the retirement of almost 19 percent of its skilled workforce within ten years. That means staying focused on recruitment and training even during a slow growth period.”

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program

New BuildForce‒Women Building Futures Partnership Aims to Attract More Women to Construction

October 26, 2016

Ottawa – In celebration of Women’s History Month and the changing role of women in construction, BuildForce Canada and Women Building Futures announced today that they are teaming up to lead more women into careers in construction.

“Encouraging more women to pursue the construction trades is not only the right thing to do; it’s a necessity,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “Construction is undergoing major change and that creates a tremendous opportunity for women to make their mark in one of Canada’s most important industries. We’re confident that both women and industry will benefit from our new partnership.”

BuildForce and Women Building Futures share a commitment to bolster the number of women in construction and help industry fill the skills vacuum as baby boomers retire. One quarter of Canada’s construction workforce, or as many as 250,000 skilled workers are planning to retire this decade.  

“We are delighted to partner with BuildForce to further raise awareness among women that the world of construction offers endless career opportunities, which also tend to support a very nice lifestyle. Who wouldn’t want that?” said JudyLynn Archer, President and CEO of Women Building Futures. “Thousands of women are ready to enter the workforce or make a career change, and we want them to know that we are here to help.”

While the number of women in construction is increasing, the proportion of women who make up the skilled trades workforce in Canada remains at approximately 4 to 5 percent.

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce.

Women Building Futures (WBF) has become the go-to-place for women interested in a career in the skilled trades and for companies diversifying their workforce. WBF operates the first trades training facility of its kind in Canada for women. Located in Edmonton, the facility offers pre-trades competency-based training in trades ranging from welding and ironworking to carpentry and electrical.

For further information, contact:

Industry Celebrates Workforce That’s Hands On in Building Economy

September 3, 2015

One in 13 Canadian Workers Make Living in Construction

Ottawa – As Canada gets set to celebrate Labour Day, the construction industry is recognizing the contributions of 1.3 million Canadians who build, repair and maintain a whopping $2.1 trillion worth of infrastructure each year.

“We’re very proud of our one million strong construction workforce,” says Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “Labour Day is an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for what’s been built, and to welcome the thousands of new faces who will lead the industry and build Canada into the future.”

Canada’s construction industry is undergoing the most dramatic demographic shift in its history. Over the next decade up to 250,000 workers, who make up one-quarter of Canada’s construction workforce, are retiring. They’re making way for a new wave of younger workers who will fill new positions as baby boomers retire over the next 10 years.

“Right now the average age of a construction worker is 41,” adds Sparks. “A decade from now, the workforce will look much different, as the industry promotes construction careers in more than 50 trades and occupations, to a younger generation.”

Calli Zwierschke is part of that changing face of construction. The 24-year-old began her career in the skilled trades five years ago, and is proud to be an apprentice electrician.

“It’s a career that allows you to build skills for life,” says Zwierschke. “It’s a fantastic lifestyle with the flexibility and opportunity to apply your skills anywhere in the world.”

BuildForce has been reaching out to the next generation of construction workers where they live – online. Using YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms, BuildForce has reached more than 3 million Canadians aged 15 to 25 who visited its redesigned Careers in Construction website at www.careersinconstruction.ca.

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce.

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186
 

New Residential Report Shows Need for More Than 129,000 Skilled Workers

April 27, 2015

With Canada’s home renovation industry continuing to grow, new construction holding steady, and an aging workforce with many people nearing retirement, Canada’s residential construction industry will need more than 129,000 new skilled workers over the next decade. This is according to the new residential construction labour market information report, the first report of its kind, released today by BuildForce Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA).

“Our report recognizes the specific needs and challenges facing residential construction employers,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “By tracking cycles in new housing construction, trends in renovation, and impending retirements of workers across the industry, we’re helping employers make the most informed decisions possible about labour force needs in this important sector.”

The new residential construction report is the first in Canada to focus exclusively on supply and demand for home builders and renovators.

“We’re delighted by this new partnership and the insights this work will bring to our industry,” said Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer of CHBA. “This new report includes market indicators not found anywhere else, ensuring our industry is better equipped to anticipate and respond to changing conditions.”

BuildForce Canada’s first annual Labour Market Assessments for the Residential Construction Industry 2015-2024 report shows renovation and maintenance work will rise steadily as the housing stock ages, already more than $60 million annually and making up more than half of the investment in residential construction. With modest growth overall in new housing construction, including declines in some regions, demand for residential construction workers will continue to shift to the renovation sector.

The report shows the biggest challenge across all provinces is the aging residential construction workforce and the need to replace about 114,000 skilled workers retiring this decade.

BuildForce Canada’s first annual Labour Market Assessments for the Residential Construction Industry 2015-2024 report, including details for each province, can be found at www.constructionforecasts.ca.

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce.

Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) is the voice of Canada's residential construction industry with over 8,500 member firms across Canada. CHBA members come from every area of Canada's housing industry – new home builders, renovators, land developers, trade contractors, product and material manufacturers, building product suppliers, lending institutions, insurance providers, service professionals and other affiliated organizations.

For further information, contact:

  • Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905) 852-9186
  • Kevin Lee, CEO, Canadian Home Builders’ Association, lee@chba.ca or (613) 230-3060

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program
 

Falling Oil Prices Stall Alberta Construction Projects

March 16, 2015

Alberta – Declining oil prices are having an impact on the province’s construction industry, resulting in new project cancellations, delays and job losses. The industry, howewver, is expected to rebound after a three-year downturn, according to the latest forecast from BuildForce Canada.

“While oil prices have sent construction into a downturn, the industry will recover,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “While it’s early to pinpoint when that will happen, our forecast projects a near-term recovery, with jobs in engineering construction rising gradually from 2018 to 2024, as oil prices come back up.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2015-2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows falling oil prices are slowing Alberta’s investment in new major capital projects. Sustaining capital projects and maintenance of existing facilities, however, are continuing, and this work accounts for a significant share of total oil sands investment.

New project delays result in job losses from 2015 to 2017, primarily in engineering and residential construction. A modest down cycle, followed by gradual growth, drives up institutional, commercial and industrial construction employment by 8,000 jobs to 2024.

Oil prices are projected to rise after their fall in 2014-2015. As prices recover, oil sands investment resumes, with production supported by pipeline and other infrastructure that is now being planned and built. By 2024, construction employment is up 6 percent from record levels in 2014, with job gains in all markets.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Maintaining and sustaining current operations and equipment provides stable work for a large and growing segment of the construction workforce.
  • Falling oil prices trigger a new housing cycle, resulting in job losses between 2017 and 2018, followed by moderate recovery when housing starts rise close to current levels by 2024. The home renovation market adds more than 4,000 jobs.
  • The construction industry needs to hire more than 36,000 new workers to counter rising retirements over the next 10 years.

“Despite current conditions, local employers should stay focused on recruitment,” added Sparks. “This is key to building the workforce, so it is ready when growth resumes, and retirements rise.”

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada

Resource Project Ups and Downs Challenge Construction Industry

March 16, 2015

Newfoundland and Labrador – Major resource projects that have dominated the province’s 10-year construction boom will peak this year and create a second wave of new jobs starting in 2019, according to the latest forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“The challenge is sustaining a skilled workforce as major projects cycle up, down and up again over the forecast period,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “These employment shifts require long-range planning and a real industry focus on recruitment.”  

BuildForce Canada’s 2015-2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows major projects, from large mining, power stations and transmission lines to offshore drilling platforms, will drive construction hiring to a new peak in 2015. As these projects wind down, proposed new offshore resource developments drive a second, smaller wave of hiring later in the scenario period from 2019 to 2022. Residential activity slows over the next few years, driven by declines in new housing, before a marginal rise over the medium term with investment below the 2012 peak.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Renovation and maintenance employment remains unchanged across the scenario period.
  • Labour mobility is key, especially this year and from 2019 to 2022, to meet project demands and offset retirements.
  • Close to 6,000 workers are expected to retire over the next 10 years.

“That means attracting and training more young people now, to help offset the loss of more than a quarter of the workforce that’s heading into retirement,” added Sparks.

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada

B.C. Construction Industry Poised for Significant Energy Development

March 16, 2015

British Columbia – With the startup of major projects, B.C.’s construction job growth will lead all other provinces from now to 2024, according to the latest forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“Big engineering projects are starting, and commercial and residential building is gaining momentum,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “These industry dynamics will create a lot of new construction jobs and the need for steady recruiting, hiring and training.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2015-2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows most construction markets gaining strength each year through the forecast period. New resource projects set the stage, with employment levels rising by up to 70 percent by 2018. Growth is sustained beyond that by ongoing activity in industrial, commercial and institutional building. This will create short-term hiring peaks for select tradespeople in 2018. Job growth across most trades and occupations is expected to reach new historical highs by 2024.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Employment rises by 16,000 jobs, or more than 20 percent, in non-residential construction across the forecast period.
  • Growth in residential renovation work will offset lower levels of new home construction, resulting in employment growth of 16 percent, or 6,700 jobs.
  • More than 39,000 workers will need to be hired over the next 10 years to offset rising retirements.

“Over 24 percent of the construction workforce is retiring this decade, and local employers need to plan for that,” added Sparks. “The industry is losing years of skill and experience that can’t be easily replaced.”

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada

Canada’s Construction Industry Adjusts to Changing Conditions

March 16, 2015

Ottawa – The composition of resource-related investments is changing after more than a decade-long construction expansion, driven by new resource developments. Major infrastructure projects, sustaining capital and maintenance work that support Canada’s new resource capacity become important drivers of labour market demands, according the latest forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“As oil investments slow, opportunities continue in pipeline, transportation systems, electricity generation and distribution projects,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “New jobs are being created, supporting current and future resource production.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2015-2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows that Canada’s construction workforce must meet the demands of new and ongoing resource development, as well as sustaining and maintenance work. Despite weaker conditions at times during the 10-year forecast period, the workforce continues to grow, with 81,000 new jobs created. Industry’s bigger challenge is offsetting the rising number of retirements. Up to 250,000 construction workers, or 21 percent of the workforce, is set to retire in the next decade.

“Replacing that many retirees is an ongoing challenge,” added Sparks. “Industry can’t afford to let up on recruitment, whether it’s attracting young people, workers from other industries, or from outside the country.”

BuildForce Canada’s annual forecast also shows:

Residential construction: Employment rises modestly across Canada from now to 2024, with stronger gains in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. More than half of residential construction investment will be in renovation and maintenance work. Residential construction is more cyclical in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where resource project cycles drive new housing lower across the scenario period.

Non-residential construction: Employment grows gradually to 2024 with the strongest gains in the West. Engineering projects drive employment cycles in Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan. In Alberta, oil price declines drive oil and gas construction lower until 2017, when job growth resumes. Commercial construction is a steady source of new construction jobs across all provinces.

Highlights of BuildForce Canada’s 2015-2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast can be found for each province at: www.constructionforecasts.ca

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce.

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada

Changing Demographics Major Challenge for Local Construction Industry

March 16, 2015

Nova Scotia – With a shrinking youth population and the retirement of more than 8,000 construction workers over the coming decade, Nova Scotia’s construction employers need to stay focused on recruitment, according to the latest forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“Labour mobility is a must to bolster the local construction workforce, especially during peak periods,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “With 27 percent of the workforce retiring over the next 10 years, recruiters are under real pressure to make up for that huge loss in skills and experience.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2015-2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows a modest rise in non-residential construction work. Hiring peaks from 2019-2021, driven by shipyard upgrades and expansion and commercial projects. Steady job growth in renovation work helps to offset a decline in new housing construction. Overall, construction employment rises across the forecast period, with a modest increase of 1,100 new jobs.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • A projected gain of 800 jobs in renovation will partially offset a decline of 1,200 jobs in new housing.
  • Increased demand will create 600 jobs in commercial and institutional, and 500 jobs in engineering construction.

“Nova Scotia’s construction industry will need to replenish its aging workforce with young people,” added Sparks. “The challenge is attracting enough first-time workers to offset the baby boomers leaving the workforce.”

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada

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