TORONTO, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Northern Ontario and the Greater Toronto
Area (GTA) will be hubs of construction activity over the next few
years, drawing in workers from outside Ontario's regions to meet the
growing demand for skilled trades.
A newly released labour market forecast from the Construction Sector
Council says requirements diverge across Ontario, depending on the
timing and scale of major projects, but that overall, the industry may
need to recruit about 40,000 workers from outside the province.
"Each region has distinct patterns of construction activity," says David
Brisbin, Executive Director of the Construction Employers Coordinating
Council of Ontario. "A lot depends on the location, timing and scale of
mining, utility and infrastructure projects… Next to finding enough
workers for those projects, the challenge will be moving these
specialized and experienced trades to the big projects at the right
Construction Looking Forward, Ontario 2013-2021 highlights the labour market situation in each of the province's five
The report says GTA labour requirements are driven largely by the
nuclear power plant refurbishment, transmission, other utilities work
and transportation projects.
Northern Ontario is in the midst of a resource development boom, with
many major mining and infrastructure projects underway and more being
proposed, driving demand for specialized skilled trades up by 65
Central Ontario labour markets remain more or less balanced, with a
There is little change in construction employment over the 2013-2021
period in Eastern Ontario; the only consistent source of rising demand
being commercial building.
By contrast, a stop-go-stop pattern in Southwestern Ontario, including
highway work, the Windsor Bridge, and utility projects, creates some
volatility for key trades and occupations.
The forecast scenario estimates that retirements will take about 75,000
workers out of the market between 2013 and 2021, though 55,000
first-time new entrants are estimated to enter construction during this
same period. The number of first-time new entrants is based on
historical levels and this may be a challenge as construction will be
competing against other sectors facing similar demographics.
"With a large proportion of today's workforce heading into retirement,
successful recruitment strategies aimed at youth, women, Aboriginal
people and immigrants are key to replacing them," says Patrick Dillon,
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer of the Provincial Building and
Construction Trades Council of Ontario.
"Training and apprenticeship programs and organizations like the Ontario
College of Trades, which was established to work with industry to
address current and future labour force requirements, are also a
priority," he added.
New housing activity has been on a strong recovery since 2009, but a
mild decline is expected in 2013. It then turns up slightly in 2016,
but remains below the record highs of 2007.
The overall downturn in housing is due mostly to slowing population
growth and a subsequent change in the type of houses being built. Even
during periods of slower growth, recruiting and training initiatives
remain important to ensure the skilled workforce is available to meet
current and future needs.
Each year, the CSC releases nine-year labour forecast scenarios
following consultations with industry leaders, including owners,
contractors and labour groups, as well as governments and educational
institutions. The full national and regional reports will be available
online at www.constructionforecasts.ca/products in March 2013.
Forecast scenario data is also available at www.constructionforecasts.ca. In addition to information on the supply and demand of skilled trades,
the website allows for instant access to residential and
non-residential construction investment data.
Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program.
SOURCE: Construction Sector Council
For further information:
David Brisbin, Construction Employers Coordinating Council of Ontario
Patrick Dillon, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario
Rosemary Sparks, Construction Sector Council