Thousands of construction jobs vacant in Calgary, impacting development: industry association

via Global News

An association representing hundreds of construction companies in Calgary is sounding the alarm about job vacancies in the region.

The Calgary Construction Association (CCA) said commercial and residential builders are struggling to find enough workers to keep up with development demands.

“Our concern is that this year and in the near future, the skilled worker shortage will become a key issue,” CCA president Bill Black said in a statement.

The construction association said there are 3,000 to 4,000 construction job vacancies in the Calgary region.

Federally, the Canadian Construction Association said there are over 93,000 construction job vacancies in the industry that employs 1.3 million Canadians. Statistics Canada pegged October’s construction job vacancies at 67,400 after a decline of 17,200 in Q3.

After taking a downward turn in 2015, employment in Alberta’s construction industry has returned to 2011 levels, Statistics Canada data shows.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data, housing starts in Alberta have been trending up since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with October 2022 starts surpassing September 2014 levels.

The CCA is calling for a rework of the immigration system to seek individuals with high-value, construction-specific skills.

The association also wants the education system to expose more junior high and high school students to the trades, and increase funding for post-secondary institutions to train in the skilled trades.