Halifax looking west and around the world to find construction workers

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Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer

Halifax is turning the tables after Alberta launched a recruitment campaign to lure skilled trades workers from Nova Scotia and Ontario.

Halifax regional council last week approved a plan to spend $208,572 to hire a recruiter to travel the world to encourage skilled employees working in construction – to move to Halifax.

The shortage of labour to build housing in Halifax has councillors concerned.

BuildForce Canada says about 16 per cent of construction workers in Nova Scotia will retire by 2027 and to meet demand for construction , HRM needs about 6,200 more tradespeople by 2027.

“The need is extremely high in Halifax,” said councillor Wayne Mason.

Therefore, council approved funding for Halifax Partnership to hire a recruiter for a one-year pilot project to work internationally to attract workers. The pilot project will focus on recruiting workers for the housing construction industry.

The cost for the recruiter will be $120,000 plus $50,000 for travel expenses and $30,000 for communications and business engagement.

“This brings HRM to the table along with the other partners,” she said.

Alberta’s campaign “Alberta is Calling” also targets sectors that are experiencing labour shortages across the country, including construction.

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