Contractors Optimistic For The Coming Year

By Cheryl Jahn
February 15, 2018 - 1:43pm Updated: February 15, 2018 - 5:47pm

A survey of over a thousand members of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association is showing optimism in the construction sector. The greatest optimism is among Northern BC contractors, with 60% believing they will be expanding in 2018. 

"Whether your a business looking to grow or you're a tradesperson looking for work, it's good times right now," says Mike Davis, the ICBC's Vice President of Regional Initiatives.

But the survey also identified some significant challenges with skilled labour shortages. 93% of contractors identified a gap in the availability of pipefitters, 89% of electricians. Much of that can be attributed to the continuation of the Site C hydroelectric project. 
The survey pointed out those trades that have seen increases over the year in terms of shortages. Pipefitters topped that list as well, at 93% and concrete finishers were right behind at 83%.

"There's definitely going to be a gap where a lot of people are retiring," says Davis, and Brian O'Rourke agrees.

"Seventy is the new 65," says the President of the United Steelworkers Union, Local 1-424.

But both say having industry buy-in when it comes to training is important.

 

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