Record high number of construction workers to continue

REGINA, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Saskatchewan's construction industry is driving the province's booming economy, and employment levels are expected to remain at a 30-year high until 2018.

The Construction Sector Council's just-released forecast of labour supply and demand has industry leaders planning well ahead to deal with a very tight and shifting need for some skilled trades.

The Construction Looking Forward report estimates non-residential employment will grow by more than 50% from 2008 to 2011. The surge in jobs began with industrial, infrastructure and other engineering projects, which more than offset a temporary weakness in housing.

"While we experienced a slight downturn in new home construction, increases in renovation activity in recent months and a resurgence in the new home sector in the first five months of this year are leading the market to show increases in 2010 and 2011," remarked Alan Thomarat, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Home Builders' Association - Saskatchewan.

"Many trades and occupations in the residential sector will find increasing and new opportunities through these changing markets," Thomarat adds.

More than 7,000 new entrants join the workforce over the 2010-2018 forecast period, but 5,100 retirements are planned and another 1,000 workers will be lost due to the natural mortality rate.

"Meeting this demographic challenge requires the industry working together to replace and sustain our skilled construction workforce," says Terry Parker, Business Manager, Saskatchewan Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council.

"The projected number of new workers will barely replace what we will lose over the next decade, let alone fill demand for new building," says Michael Fougere, President of the Saskatchewan Construction Association.

"We're working with schools and training institutions to promote careers in construction and to target training and apprenticeship programs," he says.

The CSC compiles reports for each province following consultations with industry leaders, including contractors, owners and labour groups, as well as governments and educational institutions. The national and regional scenario based forecasts are released annually and are available online at: www.csc-ca.org. In addition, all scenario based forecast data is available at www.constructionforecasts.ca.

The Construction Sector Council is Canada's most reliable source for labour market forecasting and commentary. The CSC is a national industry organization funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. The CSC is committed to maintaining and developing a highly skilled workforce - one that will support the future needs of the construction industry in Canada.

SOURCE BuildForce Canada

For further information: For further information: Michael Fougere, Saskatchewan Construction Association, Co-Chair, Saskatchewan LMI Committee, Ph. (306) 525-0171; Rosemary Sparks, Construction Sector Council, (905) 852-9186

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