B.C. Construction Workforce Set to Grow

January 18, 2016

British Columbia – Major new projects from LNG plants and pipelines to utilities and transportation work will bolster British Columbia’s construction workforce to new record highs in 2018 and 2019, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“A recruitment and training drive will be required this year and next,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “As many as 17,000 new workers will be needed by 2018 to meet rising labour demands.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2016‒2025 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows B.C. construction beginning the year in a growth phase with new infrastructure projects and energy development leading investment. Specialized trades will be in demand from 2016 to 2019. As projects wind down, labour market conditions will ease in 2020 and 2021 leaving a gain in new jobs by the end of the scenario period in 2025. Residential construction is expected to remain largely unchanged between now and 2018, before new housing activity declines as population growth slows, while demand for home renovation work rises.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Home renovation and maintenance work continue to grow, adding 2,000 jobs across the scenario.
  • Non-residential construction will be up by approximately 12,600 jobs at the end of the scenario in 2025.
  • There is a need to replace more than 39,500 baby boomers retiring from construction in the next 10 years.

“More than 22 percent of the province’s construction workforce is retiring this decade,” added Sparks. “It’s a huge loss of skills and experience that requires industry planning well in advance.”

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. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, sparks@buildforce.ca or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program