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Canada Needs 320,000 Construction Workers

June 21 2011

Canada’s construction industry will need about 320,000 workers over the next nine years to meet demand for new construction and to replace retirements and mortalities, according to a report from the Construction Sector Council.

According to the council’s just-released national forecast of labor supply and demand, Canada’s slowing population growth combined with its rising demand for large natural resource construction projects is challenging the industry to find enough skilled workers.

“We are making an all-out effort to recruit from non-traditional labor sources such as youth, women, Aboriginal people, workers from other industries and foreign workers,” said George Gritziotis, executive director, Construction Sector Council. “We’re working on government and industry programs that focus on recruitment, apprenticeship and training, certification, pan-Canadian standards and foreign credential recognition.”

The forecast estimates that half of the industry's total labor needs will be met with 163,000 first-time new entrants to the workforce, leaving a requirement of 157,000 workers — an average of about 15,000 workers per year over the 2011-2019 period.

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