Construction Forum Addresses Labour Shortages and Replacement Demand

Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)

September 14, 2007 8:06 AM

Construction industry leaders and government representatives are meeting in Halifax, today, Sept. 14, to make plans to meet a workforce challenge -- a need for more than 5,000 new workers over the next decade.

The Apprenticeship Board will host the first Nova Scotia Construction Forum aimed to bring construction industry leaders, government and other stakeholders together to prepare for the increasing demand for skilled workers, resulting from labour shortages and an aging workforce.

In June, the Construction Sector Council released a report that predicated the annual retirement rates for construction trade workers in Nova Scotia will increase, resulting in a total replacement need of more than 5,000 skilled workers over the next 10 years.

"Although increased demand may create recruitment challenges for employers, it also poses a unique opportunity for individuals interested in working in construction in Nova Scotia," said Education Minister Karen Casey. "The province is working with business and industry groups on a number of fronts to make sure we're ready to meet the growing demand for construction services. One of the ways we're doing so is by making things a little easier for apprentices."

The province reminded participants about an upcoming scholarship program that will provide assistance for apprentices enrolled in their third and fourth year of training. Details of the program will be announced before the end of the year.

"These scholarships will help alleviate some of the financial burden experienced by apprentices, and encourage apprentices to complete their training more quickly," said Ms. Casey.

During the forum, participants will set priorities and begin planning for predicted changes.

"Through this forum, we are working with government and industry stakeholders to reach a consensus on labour market issues and how to respond collectively to these issues," said Carol MacCulloch, president of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia.

Information obtained during the forum will be included in the Apprenticeship Board's strategic plan that will be delivered with the help of stakeholders over the next three years.

"With a historically low unemployment rate and an aging workforce, the construction industry faces human resource challenges," said Colin Campbell, chair of the Apprentice Board. "The Nova Scotia Construction Forum is an opportunity for board and industry stakeholders to discuss these issues and determine priorities for action."

The Construction Sector Council forecast was produced with input from all sectors of the construction industry and government through the region's Labour Market Information committee.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     There will be as many as five-thousand jobs for Nova

Scotians in the construction industry within the next decade.

     The Apprenticeship Board hosted the first Nova Scotia

Construction Forum today (September 14th) where industry leaders,

government and stakeholders met to discuss solutions for

predicted labour shortages in Nova Scotia's construction sector.

     Education Minister Karen Casey says increased demand poses

a unique opportunity for individuals interested in working in

construction in Nova Scotia.

     A Construction Sector Council report released in June

predicts annual retirement rates for construction trade workers

in Nova Scotia will increase from two-point-one per cent to

three-point-two per cent.

     Industry is preparing for the demand by working with

government to create a strategic plan.

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Media Contact: Chrissy White
              Department of Education
              902-424-0011
              902-430-5063
              E-mail: whitecl@gov.ns.ca