Recruitment Crucial for Canada’s Construction Industry
The mass exodus of baby boomers from Canada’s workforce means the construction industry is about to lose a generation’s worth of skill and experience, says Bill Ferreira, executive director of BuildForce Canada.
More than 250,000 Canadian construction workers are retiring in the next 10 years – that’s more than 20 percent of the current workforce. At the same time, the pool of available younger workers is shrinking.
“It’s a demographic one-two punch that the industry can only dodge if it plans now.” Ferreira says.
A strong focus on recruitment, training, and mentoring will be more important – and more challenging – than ever. The pool of workers is shrinking, in part because of demographics, but also due to increased recruitment competition from other industries. At the same time, demand for construction services is expected to be lower than over the past 10 years, which means finding time on tools for new recruits will be challenging.
Not preparing for this demographic shift could leave the construction industry vulnerable to potential skills and capacity gaps. BuildForce cautions that this could hurt both the industry and the Canadian economy.
“This decade, Canada needs as many as 277,000 construction workers to meet labour demands and counter rising retirements,” Ferreira says. “The industry will need to step up recruitment efforts and do all it can to encourage far more new Canadians, women, and Indigenous people to join Canada’s construction workforce.”
For more on construction industry trends, read the BuildForce Canada report.
BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization committed to providing information and resources to the construction industry to assist with its management of workforce requirements.