Atlantic Canada Needs 20,000 Skilled Trades' Workers



    Worker Mobility Key to Sustaining Strength

    SAINT JOHN, June 4 /CNW/ - Planned major industrial, resource and
government infrastructure projects will help Atlantic Canada's construction
industry gain momentum through the recession, the Construction Sector Council
announced today at the Atlantic Construction Labour Market Symposium.
    "A regional approach is needed to make sure we meet the skilled labour
requirements from province to province," said George Gritziotis, Executive
Director of the Construction Sector Council. "I'm confident today's symposium
will result in a regional solution."
    The focus of today's symposium that has brought together industry,
training, and government representatives from across Atlantic Canada, is to
plan now to ensure the region has a strong skilled construction workforce when
the economy improves.
    "These projects coupled with government stimulus will create both
employment opportunities and challenges," said Hilary Howes, Executive
Director of the Construction Association of New Brunswick. "We need to ensure
we've got the workforce in place to keep pace when new construction begins
across the region."
    The symposium will discuss solutions to issues identified in the
Construction Sector Council's annual report "Construction Looking Forward."
The report highlights labour market trends from 2009 to 2017 in Atlantic
Canada.
    The CSC's forecast identifies several major projects in New Brunswick
that are projected to drive employment up 45% over four years starting in
2012. These projects which are now either underway or in the planning stage,
include an oil refinery and a nuclear power plant.
    The CSC's forecast also show major resource development projects will
create 3,200 new construction jobs over the next 9 years in Newfoundland and
Labrador. These planned projects include a nickel processing facility, oil
field expansion, mine development and hydro projects. Construction employment
growth in this province outpaces all others.
    Planned resource related projects and government infrastructure activity
will add 2,400 new jobs this year and next in Nova Scotia, offsetting the loss
of 1,000 jobs in residential construction.
    "Our challenge is attracting new young recruits, training and retaining
skilled workers," said Derm Cain, CSC Board Director and Canadian Regional
Director of the International Union of Operating Engineers. "It's a must,
given that 5,900 skilled workers are needed to replace retiring baby boomers
in Nova Scotia alone."
    The report finds that Atlantic Canada will need more than 4,600 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 15,000 workers are needed to replace retiring baby boomers
between now and 2017.
    In Prince Edward Island, the report shows an increase in housing activity
and government infrastructure projects will create 320 new construction jobs
over the next two years.
    Still, both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island risk losing skilled
workers to Newfoundland and Labrador in the short term and New Brunswick in
the longer term.
    The Construction Sector Council is Canada's most reliable source for
labour market forecasting and commentary. The CSC is a national organization
committed to supporting the future needs of Canada's construction industry
through a highly skilled workforce.
    The CSC's "Construction Looking Forward" national and regional forecasts
provide governments, colleges, labour and industry with accurate information
on labour supply and demand to ensure Canada's construction industry remains a
leading sector in Canada's economy.
    Atlantic Canada's "Construction Looking Forward" Scenario 2009-2010 will
be released in the coming weeks, along with summary from the Atlantic Labour
Market Symposium and all forecast scenario data at
www.constructionforecasts.ca

    This project is funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council
Program




For further information:

For further information: Danna O'Brien, Sussex Strategy Group, (416)
500-0699; Rosemary Sparks, Construction Sector Council, (416) 271-2633

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