REGINA, Feb. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Saskatchewan is leading other provinces in
construction employment growth, and though it has attracted more new
workers than most provinces, industry leaders say meeting labour needs
over the next decade remains a challenge.
"We have to continue to attract a large, skilled workforce in
Saskatchewan to meet market demand, and keeping them may be a
challenge," says Michael Fougere, President, Saskatchewan Construction
Association. "We have been successful at drawing in workers from other
sectors and provinces, but we will have to continue efforts to recruit
and maintain skilled workers through apprenticeship, industry training
Fougere is responding to a just-released forecast of construction labour
supply and demand published by the Construction Sector Council (CSC).
The report says that since 2001, the construction workforce has
expanded by almost 70 percent. Demand is projected to continue to grow
over the next few years. "Our challenge going forward is that the same
skilled trades are in demand at the same time for other resource
projects across Canada."
Construction Looking Forward, An Assessment of Construction Labour
Markets from 2012 to 2020 for Saskatchewan says the strongest growth is due to the big mining and utility
projects, but employment in all sectors will continue to increase.
"Unlike most other provinces, new housing construction and renovation
work will likely continue at a steady pace until 2020," says Alan
Thomarat, President, Canadian Home Builders Association of
Saskatchewan. "There are concerns about the potential demand for
skilled workers due to retirements and competition for labour from
other provinces. The entire construction industry is taking a proactive
approach to recruitment, retention, training and development."
Since 2001, Saskatchewan's labour force has increased from around 23,000
workers to an estimated 37,500 in 2011. Work on known major projects is
expected to peak in 2013 and the workforce will decline to average
35,000 workers across the outlook period, well above historic levels.
"This is a new level of activity for our province. We have to ensure
that we have the skilled workforce now and for the future," says Terry
Parker, Business Manager, Saskatchewan Provincial Building &
Construction Trades Council, noting that as activity peaks, industry
must focus on the potential loss of skilled workers expected to retire
over the next decade. The CSC estimates that 6,600 workers may retire;
18 percent of the current workforce.
Each year, the CSC releases nine-year labour forecasts following
consultations with industry leaders, including owners, contractors and
labour groups, as well as governments and educational institutions.
The national and regional reports will be available online at www.csc-ca.org in February/March. Forecast data is also available at www.constructionforecasts.ca. They allow for instant access to residential and non-residential
construction investment data, as well as details on the supply and
demand for more than 30 skilled trades over the next nine years - all
broken down by province and region.
The Construction Sector Council is a national industry-led organization
committed to the development of a highly skilled workforce that will
support the future needs of Canada's construction industry. It is
funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program.
SOURCE Construction Sector Council
For further information:
Construction Labour Relations Association of Saskatchewan
Construction Sector Council