Over 300,000 skilled workers are needed by the construction industry in Canada between now and 2017!
The Canadian Construction Sector Council has surveyed its members and the resulting report is incredible!
It appears we are about to see another boom in construction over the next three years, largely due to projects funded by the federal government.
This is great news for those out-of-work skilled workers who have been looking for work in the last few months.
The recent slowdown in the number of residential construction projects means that this public works bonanza will be a big shift for some workers, but a small shift for others.
Most skilled workers’ base-skills foundation comes from education and on-the-job experience. Although there may be major differences in electrical work between residential and institutional/commercial work, the knowledge base, skill sets and many of the fundamentals remain the same. But still, the question in many skilled workers with residential construction intensive experience is: “How do I make the move to industrial or commercial construction?”
Demonstrate the value you bring as a well-rounded, skilled worker to the employer and, of course, work hard.
If you want to move into industrial work, load up on additional, ancillary skills. Little things like taking an Industrial first aid course or obtaining a commercial drivers license may be enough for an employer to say: “I want you on our team.”
Having a large, diverse portfolio of skills and certifications will help you get a foot in the door and separate yourself from other job seekers. You should research compatible skills training and on-going complimentary skills upgrading.
Alternatively, if there is direct training that helps with employability such as Distributed Control Systems (DCS) or Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) training for industrial instrument mechanics or electricians. If you are on Employment Insurance, the government may even provide funding for a training program, and maintain benefits while you are attending the program course.
Over the years I have earned and held a commercial drivers license, industrial first aid and disability management certificates, a university degree in business administration and a two year college certificate. I obtained all of this accreditation since completing high school. All of it meant sacrificing time and money, but it has paid off. Extra training results in higher-paying jobs. It also demonstrates to employers that you are not someone who is going to become stagnant in their organization.
Forecasts show 168,000 baby boomers are going to be retiring in the near future. There will be plenty of opportunities for journeymen trades-people to move up to senior positions – and for apprentices to find full-time employment, even if it is a struggle to finish an apprenticeship right now.
According to the Construction Sector Council:
“[Through] government backed institutional, transportation and energy projects, Quebec has sustained employment growth through the recession.
Proposed major projects in mining, manufacturing and utility industries coupled with government infrastructure and industrial projects are sustaining employment growth in British Columbia”
“Momentum is also being created by new and ongoing projects in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador. When combined with government stimulus initiatives, these projects [have] helped to sustain construction employment.”
This is all positive news that will help people get through the short term pain we have seen so far in 2009. It also points to excellent opportunities and a great reason to invest in yourself if you are currently out of work.
By Kael Campbell
Red Seal Recruiting