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Residential construction needs 129,000 new skilled workers over next decade

With modest growth in new housing, and with Canadian housing stock ageing, construction jobs will continue to shift to the renovation sector, the report says.


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April 28, 2015 by Steve Payne

Editor’s Note:  Here is an interesting press release put out yesterday by BuildForce Canada in conjunction with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.

Ottawa (April 27, 2015) – With Canada’s home renovation industry continuing to grow, new construction holding steady, and an aging workforce with many people nearing retirement, Canada’s residential construction industry will need more than 129,000 new skilled workers over the next decade. This is according to the new residential construction labour market information report, the first report of its kind, released today by BuildForce Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA).

“Our report recognizes the specific needs and challenges facing residential construction employers,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “By tracking cycles in new housing construction, trends in renovation, and impending retirements of workers across the industry, we’re helping employers make the most informed decisions possible about labour force needs in this important sector.”

The new residential construction report is the first in Canada to focus exclusively on supply and demand for home builders and renovators. “We’re delighted by this new partnership and the insights this work will bring to our industry,” said Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer of CHBA. “This new report includes market indictors not found anywhere else, ensuring our industry is better equipped to anticipate and respond to changing conditions.”

BuildForce Canada’s first annual Labour Market Assessments for the Residential Construction Industry 2015-­‐2024 report shows renovation and maintenance work will rise steadily as the housing stock ages. The market for this work is already more than $60 million annually and makes up more than half of the investment in residential construction. With modest growth overall in new housing construction, including declines in some regions, demand for residential construction workers will continue to shift to the renovation sector.

The report shows the biggest challenge across all provinces is the aging residential construction workforce and the need to replace about 114,000 skilled workers retiring this decade. BuildForce Canada’s first annual Labour Market Assessments for the Residential Construction Industry 2015-­‐2024 report, including details for each province, can be found at www.constructionforecasts.ca.

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-­‐led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce.

Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is the voice of Canada’s residential construction industry with over 8,500 member firms across Canada. CHBA members come from every area of Canada’s housing industry – new home builders, renovators, land developers, trade contractors, product and material manufacturers, building product suppliers, lending institutions, insurance providers, service professionals and other affiliated organizations.


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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1 Comment » for Residential construction needs 129,000 new skilled workers over next decade
  1. Big Jay says:

    hahaha, yeahhh.

    Let us know when you will actually keep more than 30% of your workforce employed year-round, before you go crying about a lack of workers.

    Oh! and what’s this: https://www.canadiancontractor.ca/canadian-contractor/three-years-of-job-losses-for-alberta-construction-firms-forecast/1003273303/

    Interesting. I guess your article’s numbers are just a tad off.

    Also, let us know when you would like to pay more than $20 an hour (outside of Alberta) for that ‘skilled’ labour you need to hire so desperately.

    You have lost an entire generation of people who would rather flip burgers for only a few dollars less per hour.

    Skilled labour isn’t cheap.
    Cheap labour isn’t skilled.