OTTAWA — Over the next decade, Canada’s residential construction industry will need to attract some 94,100 new workers in order to meet the housing needs of Canadians.
These new jobs will open up as an estimated 21 per cent of current workers retire, a departure of over 118,000 workers by 2026.
That's the key finding of a new labour forecast report by BuildForce Canada, a national industry-led organization that studies the construction industry's workforce requirements.
Canada's aging population is also clearly shown in the 2016 Census data released by Statistics Canada.
"Our industry is responsible for over one million jobs annually and is an important part of the economy in every community across the country, so the wave of retirements starting in our industry, as shown by the BuildForce labour forecast, represents new career opportunities in construction for young people in all regions," noted Kevin Lee, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA).
"Residential construction jobs are rewarding and pay well. They involve a wide range of skilled trades areas and are increasingly technical in scope.
"CHBA looks forward to working closely with Canada's colleges and universities to ensure young people have access to the high-quality training they will need. It is also critically important that high schools and parents recognize the great career opportunities available in home construction and renovation, to help steer students in this direction," he concluded.
Residential construction directly and indirectly supports over one million jobs across the country, with an annual payroll exceeding $58 billion and contributing over $128 billion in economic activity.
Some 48 per cent of all construction jobs in Canada are tied to residential construction — the building of new homes, and the renovation and maintenance of Canada's 14 million existing homes.
Lee added: "It's also important to recognize that although aging demographics likely mean a gradual slowing of new construction over the coming decade, particularly in some regions, the rate of retirement will outpace slowing activity. Plus, renovation activity continues to grow across the country in every province, especially in the area of seniors' accommodation and aging-in-place. This means there will continue to be a demand for new workers and very good career prospects will come with these jobs."