Reports Highlight Need for Immediate Training and Retention to Meet Atlantic Canada Future Construction Needs



    HALIFAX, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - A new report released today assessing
Atlantic Canada's construction industry reveals the need for immediate
attention to recruitment and retention to ensure a skilled workforce for
upcoming projects.
    The Construction Sector Council's (CSC) third annual edition of
'Construction Looking Forward: Labour Requirements from 2007 to 2015 for
Atlantic Canada' states that although the labour pool is currently stable,
both employers and government have to adapt training and recruitment efforts
to meet future demand.
    "Atlantic Canada's construction sector has enjoyed a relatively stable
supply of workers for sometime now," said Tim Flood, President of John Flood
and Sons (1961) Ltd., and the Business Co-Chair of the CSC's Board of
Directors. "But this report raises the concern about the industry's aging
workforce where a lot of workers are expected to retire soon. The new entrants
may fall short of the number needed to supply upcoming construction projects
and our sector needs to change the way we attract new people to fulfill the
coming demand."
    The CSC produced the forecast with input from all sectors of the
construction industry and government through the region's Labour Market
Information (LMI) Committee. The forecast suggests that although the industry
is plateauing right now, by 2011 there will be an upturn in housing
construction in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island that may limit the
availability of housing-related trades. Factors such as changing demographics
in New Brunswick and a lagging population increase in Newfoundland further
impact the size of the available construction workforce.
    Steve Graves, President, Mainland Nova Scotia Building and Construction
Trades and a CSC Board Director, stresses the significance of the forecast,
"We need to put programs in place to meet the increased demand that's coming
for qualified workers who can continue to operate safely on our worksites."
    Construction Looking Forward forecasts will be released for each province
over the coming weeks. George Gritziotis, Executive Director of the CSC says,
"The tight markets across Canada compel industry and governments to target
their efforts to ensure all potential workers, including Aboriginal peoples,
women, youth, unemployed and underemployed workers and immigrant workers are
all part of a thoughtful and comprehensive solution."
    The Construction Looking Forward base case report did not include a
number of major projects due to their uncertainty. However, their realization
could create significant challenges for the construction industry in the
absence of strategic planning. In response, the Nova Scotia Department of
Education funded the development of the Major Projects Investment Scenario to
broaden its understanding of the potential impact these additional projects
might have on the requirements for skilled trades workers in the Atlantic
region.
    The results of this further analysis are published under a separate
report, "Atlantic Major Projects Investment Scenario: Labour Requirements from
2007 to 2015." It reveals that at peak construction in 2010, an additional
10,600 construction workers will be required to meet the needs resulting from
increased construction activity.
    Over the forecast period, boilermakers, pipefitters, crane operators,
construction millwrights, heavy equipment operators and welders show the
largest increase in demand.
    A new feature to this year's Construction Looking Forward report allows
stakeholders to perform customized data searches online. This tool will help
individuals source out the exact data that is relevant to their particular
needs.

    The Construction Sector Council was established in 2001 as an independent
labour/business partnership to address the workforce needs of the construction
industry. The CSC is a neutral forum that brings together stakeholders to
provide data that industry can use to make critical planning decisions. CSC
provides this data to industry who undertake their own analysis. The
Government of Canada's Sector Council Program provided funding for this
project. The report is available on the CSC website at www.csc-ca.org




For further information:

For further information: Carol McCulloch, President, Construction
Association of Nova Scotia, (902) 468-2267, cmacculloch@cans.ns.ca; Rosemary
Sparks, Construction Sector Council, (613) 569-5552, sparks@csc-ca.org

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