BuildForce Canada forecasting B.C. will need 16,000 new construction workers over the next few years

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OTTAWA, O.N. — With a number of major construction projects planned to be built in B.C. including another ramp-up of construction on Site C, pipeline and liquefied natural gas construction, the province could find itself needing as many as 16,000 new workers over the next three years according to BuildForce Canada.

BuildForce Canada’s ten-year forecast shows that while the pace of construction growth is expected to moderate slightly in British Columbia this year, a major expansion will start in 2019 and 2020. BuildForce says this surge will be driven by a number of gas, pipeline, utility, civil, and public transportation projects.

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BuildForce said that even though employment levels will decline as projects approach completion between 2022 and 2025, they are forecast to stay above current levels. The organization said that the province is forecast to see over 40,000 workers in the construction industry who are members of the Baby Boomer generation retire in the next few years. That equates to roughly 22 percent of the construction industry workforce in B.C.

“This may be the largest surge in engineering construction in recent memory, and it’s happening at a time when many skilled trades are already in short supply,” said Bill Ferreira, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “BC’s construction workforce will need to expand by up to 23 percent by 2021 to meet project requirements. That takes careful planning.”

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