Skip to main content

The construction industry will need 16,000 graduates up to 2008

The construction industry will need 16,000 graduates up to 2008

According to the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ), the construction industry will need more than 16,000 new workers with diplomas by the end of 2008. These workers will be called upon to meet the demand generated by the forecast continued high volume of work in all four construction sectors and replacement needs due to retirement and normal worker turnover. In 2005, the volume of work in the industry reached a 28-year high, and it should continue to climb slightly up to the end of 2008. The total number of employed workers stood at 133,000 in 2005, and this number should be maintained, if not surpassed, in the next three years.

Good conditions in recent years have resulted in a spectacular rise in the number of workers entering the construction industry. In 2005, 12,000 new workers joined the industry, triple the number ten years ago. The total number of workers employed in construction covered by the collective agreements increased from 85,000 in 1997 to more than 133,000 in 2005, a 58% increase over eight years. The industry is providing employment for more and more women, whose numbers rose from 180 in 1994 to almost 1,500 in 2005.

By 2008, the construction industry will need a total of between 9,000 and 10,000 new workers per year, including about 5,500 with a diploma in one of the 26 construction trades, and this is strictly to respond to replacement demand.

Training: A priority for the industry

Graduates in a construction trade may enter the industry at any time with a job guarantee of 150 hours from an employer. According to data compiled by the Commission de la construction du Québec, the number of graduates admitted to construction has quadrupled over ten years. More than 4,200 new graduates join the industry per year, a figure that the industry would like to see rise to about 5,500. Each trade has its own educational program at the vocational secondary level leading to the granting of a secondary studies diploma (diplôme d'études secondaires, or DEP).

There are eight vocational training centres specializing in the construction trades, with management participation by the CCQ, the employers, and the construction unions. Forty other centres also offer training linked to the construction trades.

Prospects by trade according to the CCQ

The trades of heavy equipment operator, shovel operator, and heavy equipment mechanic, as well as certain occupations (labourers), will be in strong demand to fulfil the needs of the civil engineering and roadwork sector. The trades of bricklayer-mason, crane operator, and pipe fitter, all of which have a high proportion of older workers, will need a greater number of workers, as will the trades of cement finisher, erector mechanic (glazier), tile setter, and resilient flooring layer. In general, employment openings for the other trades will be sustained, driven mainly by worker replacement. Anticipated strength in institutional construction and continued good volume in commercial construction will compensate for the downward trend observed in the residential sector. Trades linked to industrial sites, such as insulator, boiler maker, and structural steel erector, will present moderate prospects, but an improvement is expected by 2008.

A large number of projects will be the driving force for construction

Large projects will be the order of the day in construction in coming years. Many projects are already underway, such as the Chute Allard et Rapides-des-Cœurs electric-power dams in Mauricie, the Eastmain-1 hydroelectric complex, and the power station on the Péribonka River. Others are in the preparatory stage, notably the Eastmain-1-A/Rupert hydroelectric complex at James Bay. Windmill parks in Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie, will also be major sites for job creation. The grant programs will once again support infrastructure work related to sewers and aqueducts, while a number of major roadwork sites are also planned.

Institutional construction will benefit from an abundance of work related to renovation or expansion of universities and hospitals, among them, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). Activity in commercial construction will continue at a good pace. Construction of office buildings, which has been in a lull, will pick up again over the medium term.

About the author

Québec Landlords Association (1)

Join now

Not already member of the APQ ?

Take advantage of all our services by joining now

This site uses cookies in order to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing to browse this site, you agree to the use of cookies.