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An estimated 300,000 new construction workers will be desperately needed in the next ten years according to the Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Construction Association, Wayne Morsky.
Morsky told the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association this spring that while mentoring programs that pair older construction workers with younger ones to help them learn the trade and establish themselves in a construction career provide some help, they’re not nearly enough.
Welcoming more skilled worker immigrants would be a better solution, according to Morsky, but Canada’s recruiting of skilled labourers is far less aggressive than it is for other professions. However, they are very much needed:
Only as recently as nine years ago, the average age of a Canadian construction worker was 41, and these workers will be preparing for retirement in little more than a decade. Currently, the construction field currently employs over 1 million Canadians and Ontario has more construction workers than any other province. Construction workers are also involved in over $150 billion worth of work annually.
The impending retirement of countless baby boomers on Canada will have a large impact on the way the country runs. Currently, 51 per cent of the population in Canada is working. Ten years from now, only 49 per cent will be as the baby boomers begin to retire. It seems like a small number – only two per cent – but it will have very large ramifications on the economy and government, who will receive much less in taxes paid – around $20 billion less. Even more costly is the amount of necessary construction work – like repairs – that is not completed because of the worker shortage will end up costing about $200 billion.
Over 300,000 new construction jobs are expected to be created in the country over the next seven years, but there will be no one to fill them unless more skilled immigrant labourers are there to take them.