LATEST NEWS Engineering
July 11, 2012
Focused labour market planning is needed
When it comes to planning projects, labour market conditions represent just one of the factors that must be taken into account.
Yet, ultimately, “it comes back to whether there will be a sufficient number of skilled construction workers in the right place at the right time to meet demands,” said Construction Sector Council economist Bob Collins.
Speaking at the annual summit of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-Canada, Collins delivered a high-level view of the council’s most recent assessment of construction labour markets from 2012 to 2020.
His focus was on nonresidential construction.
In putting together its forecast, the council relies on provincial committees that guide the analysis of what projects are expected to drive construction and the current state of labour markets, by sector.
Collins told consulting engineers from across Canada attending the summit that the 2012 Construction Looking Forward scenarios indicate that construction investment and employment will remain at all-time record levels for the next decade.
Much of the expansion will be driven by major projects in nonresidential construction, more specifically by large industrial and engineering projects.
However, intensity will vary by province and sector.
Growth is expected to be strongest in the western provinces and in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Meeting anticipated labour requirements requires focused labour market planning to address challenges associated with increased construction activity and an aging workforce, Collins told the summit.
Solutions likely will vary by sector and region.
Facilitating the mobility of the workforce remains a high priority as does recruitment of skilled personnel.
Youth, women, Aboriginals and immigrants are prime targets.
Attention also needs to be paid to retaining older workers.
“Construction can’t take its foot off the pedal,” Collins said.
Collins was one of the speakers at a market trends panel at the ACEC summit, at the Rodd Brudenell River Resort in Prince Edward Island.
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