The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is sounding the alarm about the urgent need for workers in construction through an industry call to action to Rebuild Canada’s workforce NOW.

“Canada is facing its most severe labour shortage in over 50 years – nearly 1 million jobs are unfilled,” said Mary Van Buren, CCA president. “The situation is especially acute for the construction sector – we have over 81,000 openings now. This also means the essential infrastructure projects that 38 million Canadians rely on every day risk being cancelled or delayed.”

The federal government has an ambitious growth plan – one that includes repairing, maintaining and retrofitting aging infrastructure while also building for future climate resilience. Retirements and recruitment challenges will be a heavy blow to Canada’ future economic growth if steps aren’t taken to Rebuild Canada’s workforce NOW.

As job vacancy rates grow and competition for talent becomes more fierce, the federal government needs to expand the Temporary Foreign Workers program and facilitate the entry of immigrants interested in working in the construction sector.

Industry representatives are meeting with parliamentarians for CCA’s Hill Day on November 15 to urge the federal government to:

  • modernize Canada’s immigration policy and point system to better recognize tradespeople and construction labourers.
  • work with the provinces to ensure skills matching is properly funded and supported; and
  • update the Temporary Foreign Worker program to allow seamless access for the construction industry.

Skilled tradespeople cannot be created overnight. It is vital that we turn to immigration and temporary foreign labour to help alleviate the choke points created by the workforce shortage.

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Featured image: Metrolinx’s Eglinton Crosstown West LRT Extension project is one of many transit projects in the GTA, employing thousands of workers.  (Metrolinx)

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