The lack of skilled construction workers threatens to bulldoze Alberta’s white-hot construction industry growth if the critical labour deficit is not adequately addressed. The Conference Board of Canada (CBC) estimates that approximately 332,000 workers will be needed by 2025.
The report should serve as a “wake-up call” says Heather Douglas, president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Government and business need to move quickly to facilitate immigration and honour foreign credentials the CBC reports. The province has been working with labour, business, educators, Aboriginals and others in dealing with the problem. “Forty-three per cent of all job gains in Canada are coming in Alberta”, she explains.
Douglas affirms that 75% of her group’s membership claim they’re being affected by a workforce deficiency, adding that the C$130 billion in Alberta construction projects planned through 2007 led by the oilsands are further aggravating the issue. Labour shortages may lead to “spiraling” wages and make some projects too costly to launch she concludes.