B.C.'s Construction Industry Built to Buffer Recession



    Construction Sector Front and Centre at Labour Market Symposium

    VANCOUVER, May 26 /CNW/ - British Columbia's construction industry will
weather the recession better than many other industries thanks to government
infrastructure spending, the Construction Sector Council (CSC) announced today
at its Labour Market Symposium. B.C labour and industry representatives are
meeting to find ways of ensuring this key sector is ready for the next wave of
construction.
    While the economic downturn has affected residential and commercial
construction projects, major projects have been planned in the mining,
manufacturing and utility industries.
    "According to our scenario, these projects, coupled with the governments'
infrastructure projects will help to boost employment growth in B.C.'s
construction industry over the next few years," said George Gritziotis,
Executive Director of the Construction Sector Council. "Despite the downturn
in the economy, there are opportunities for B.C.'s skilled trades' workers."
    These are the highlights of the Construction Sector Council's (CSC)
annual edition of "Construction Looking Forward," a detailed forecast of
labour market trends from 2009 to 2017 for British Columbia.
    Over the short term government-related construction, especially with
strong infrastructure stimulus programs, will play an important role for
creating employment opportunities. As economic conditions improve with the
return of consumer and business confidence, construction activity will expand
on several fronts throughout the forecast period.
    "We're fortunate that few sectors will ride out the recession as well as
British Columbia's construction industry," said Manley McLachlan, President of
the BC Construction Association.
    The report finds that 26,000 new workers will be required from now until
2017 to replace retiring baby boomers. Another 6,400 workers will be needed to
meet the medium to long-term rise in construction activity.
    "This is the time for the construction industry to plan for the future,"
said Wayne Peppard, Executive Director of the BC Building Trades. "Industry
and government must focus on improving skills, increasing mobility, and
recruiting young talent so that the construction industry is a driving force
through the ups and downs of the economy."
    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.
    B.C's Construction Looking Forward Scenario 2009-2017 will be available
in the coming weeks along with a summary from the BC Labour Market Symposium
and all forecast scenario data at www.constructionforecasts.ca




For further information:

For further information: Rosemary Sparks, Construction Sector Council,
(905) 852-9186

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