VRCA report indicates ongoing and increasingly severe provincial labour shortage

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The Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) and Hays Canada have recently partnered in a report that indicates an ongoing and increasingly severe labour crunch.

The VCRA Salary Guide provides a cross-section of construction industry salaries, with an analysis of key economic issues affecting the industry this year.

“The B.C. construction industry is in really good shape, with lots of work ongoing and due to start, and we know more than 65 per cent of construction employers expect business to get better in 2016,” Hays vice-president for western Canada Jim Fearon said in a published report. He also said the new federal budget’s increased infrastructure spending and, with the proposed major Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline, “progressing slowly but surely, no one’s expecting a decrease in investment.”

The greatest skills shortages this year are in the roadbuilding and other specialty trade contracting fields, while shortages are expected to increase this year in general construction, electrical and mechanical contracting.

The report indicates the most sought after employees are superintendents, project managers and co-ordinators, with a third of employers currently looking for workers with high expertise in these areas. As well, two thirds of Vancouver construction employers reported they are facing “moderate to extreme” hiring difficulties.

These numbers are a slight improvement from the 69 per cent reported in 2015, but indicate that hiring is still a concern.

“The industry unreservedly agrees there’s a skill shortage and there has been one for quite some time,” Fearon was quoted as saying.

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