The Canadian construction industry has an aging workforce and, in the coming decade, will lose almost a quarter of its skilled workers to retirement. At the same time, forecasts indicate that in the medium to long term the industry will continue to grow.
To fill the vacancies left by retiring baby boomers and meet the demands of anticipated growth, the industry will need to recruit and train new workers. Due to low Canadian birth rates, however, the populations that the industry has traditionally counted on for recruitment will not be able to meet this demand. This means the industry will have to attract more than 300,000 additional workers from non-traditional populations: youth, older workers, women, new Canadians, visible minorities and Indigenous Peoples.
Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU), is working towards a more accessible, equitable workplace in Canada, through Build Together, a workforce development program focused on the recruitment and retention of workers from underrepresented portions of the population.
Diversity in organizations is increasingly respected as a fundamental characteristic of an organization’s ability to create an environment of involvement, respect, and connection – where the richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives are harnessed to create value. A better-skilled and more inclusive workforce is the key to successful attraction and retention.