REGINA, SK. – A made-in Saskatchewan boom in engineering and industrial projects will spark a high demand for many skilled trades over the next few years, according to a new provincial forecast of labour requirements in the construction industry from 2006 to 2014.
The report by the Construction Sector Council (CSC) and its partners says employers can expect recruiting challenges until 2009 for carpenters, heavy equipment operators, plumbers, roofers and shinglers, steamfitters, pipefitters, sprinkler system installers, and welders.
“Like other provinces, Saskatchewan is experiencing skilled labour shortages, so it is useful to be able to predict labour needs down to the trade,” says Michael Fougere, President of the Saskatchewan Construction Association. “We expect to see labour shortages into the future and this report will help industry and government address our labour market needs.”
Doug Muir, Director of Apprenticeship at the Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, says retirements will present a significant challenge over the forecast period as well, particularly with respect to training. “Knowing the when and where of labour requirements allows us to adjust the training plan accordingly,” he says.
The forecast says that from 2006 to 2014, the province will have to replace more than 3,600 retiring workers, in addition to those who will be needed for new projects.
Ken McKinlay, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Home Builders’ Association says that any anticipated slowdown in residential will be mild, the housing and renovation sectors will need to maintain its current labour force to at least 2010. A slowing in the residential sector would see workers still engaged in light commercial activities.
The CSC produced the forecast with input from all sectors of the construction industry and government. This is the second yearly edition of Construction Looking Forward. Reports are currently being released for each province, and the new reality of the threat to economic growth, posed by fewer workers and more work, is a common theme throughout.
“In this new reality of more work and fewer workers, proper training, health and safety on the job and recruiting youth to the trades are all priorities,” says Terry Parker, Business Manager, Saskatchewan Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council.
The Construction Sector Council was established in 2001 as an independent labour/business partnership to address the workforce needs of the construction industry. The CSC is a neutral forum that brings together stakeholders to provide data that industry can use to make critical decisions. CSC provides this data to industry who undertake their own analysis. Funding for this project was provided by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program. The report is available on the CSC website at www.csc-ca.org.
Saskatchewan Construction Association
Saskatchewan Home Builders’ Association
Director of Projects
Construction Sector Council,