The Western Journal 2012 - (Page 30)

Victim of Its Own Success: Labour Market Demands in Western Canada By Michelle Morra-Carlisle S uccess, again, has become too much of a good thing. Forecasts for Alberta indicate the province’s economy will come back to pre-2008 growth, says Ken Gibson, Executive Director of the Alberta Construction Association. “The province has the potential to produce hundreds of billions of dollars of g ross domest ic product for both Alberta and the rest of Canada,” he says, “yet our forecasts also indicate Alberta just won’t be able to meet the  requirement.” He echoes a concern that’s felt throughout the west. Growth is in the forecast, particularly in Western Canada’s non-residential construction sector, according to Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of the 30 Construction Sector Council. Council data says British Columbia will have to rely on mobility of their workforce to the north, where much of its strong construction activity will be led by industrial, resource and utility projects. Alberta, which continues to be very strong in the oil sands, will get stronger towards 2015–2020. The Council expects Saskatchewan to peak in 2015, and Manitoba to peak in 2017. “The challenge for the industry will be how to meet demand when it’s peak time,” Sparks says. Meeting labour market demands is not only a race against time but a matter of trying to predict when those peak times will come and being ready for them. Demographics are an easier factor to predict. By 2020, the construction sector will have lost 25 per cent of its workforce to retirement. Exactly how many workers will be needed? Sparks offers a forecast: “The difference between the number of workers needed in 2011 and how many we’ll need is 2020 is about 100,000 workers over time,” she says. “And we estimate we could lose around 220,000 workers to retirement. That’s a shortage of 319,000. But that’s not static; we estimate we could get 162,000 young people, bringing the shortfall down to 156,000.” In construction, an estimated 80 per cent of training is done on the job, but not every job can be done with no experience. The most difficult positions to fi ll, according to Dana Taylor, Executive Vice President of the Mechanical Contractors Associations of Alberta, B.C., Manitoba & Saskatchewan 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Western Journal 2012

MCA Canada Message
Alberta Message
British Columbia Message
Manitoba Message
Saskatchewan Message
Alberta Update
British Columbia Update
Manitoba Update
Saskatchewan Update
World Plumbing Day
Victim of Its Own Success
First of Its Kind in Canada
A New Approach: The Future of the Construction Sector Council
Protecting One’s Right to Timely Payment
Clean Energy Pays Big Dividends to Environment and Bottom Line
Index to Advertisers

The Western Journal 2012