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Saturday, July 13, 2024  
06 Muharram 1446  

Canada’s Alberta province seeks skilled persons in construction industry

Alberta population has grown by 200,000
The image shows Canadian flag. Reuters.
The image shows Canadian flag. Reuters.

Canada’s Alberta province would hire as many as 42,500 workers in the next nine years as authorities replace 23% of its 2023 labour force, who are expected to retire by 2033.

“The province’s demographics should help to close much of that gap, with an estimated 41,100 new workers under the age of 30 projected to enter the labour force from the local population,” BuildForce Canada said in its report.

“However, when hiring needs relating to expansion are factored into the scenario, the province may be left with a recruiting gap of approximately 22,000 additional workers to be filled by 2033.”

Labour shortage is regarded as a pivotal issue in the province, Mike Martens, the president of Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, said.

Last year, over 200,000 new residents strained the construction industry to expand infrastructure.

“We’ve taken it for granted, and now it’s needing fixing, and we don’t have the people available to fix it”, he said.

Statistics Canada pointed out that Alberta’s construction job vacancy rate surged to 6.7% in the third quarter of 2023.

“We have an asset base of equipment that would allow us to do much more work than we’ve done in the last five years, but we simply can’t get the labour force that would be able to make use of all of that equipment,” Gary Zeitner, the senior vice president of Edmonton-based Abalone Group of Companies, said.

He highlighted that the usage of excavators and other equipment needs experience and training in the construction industry, expressing the need for hiring and doubling the labor in the company and referred this action as “challenging.”

The significant industrial work, including major projects like the Dow Chemical plant and Air Products hydrogen plant in the Edmonton area, intensifies the competition for a limited pool of skilled workers.

The Alberta government has increased funding for post-secondary apprenticeship programs, which has resulted in higher enrollment numbers.

The province has also launched the “Alberta is Calling” campaign to attract workers from other parts of Canada, offering a $5,000 refundable tax credit for individuals who move to Alberta and work in one of 55 designated high-demand skilled trades until the end of 2024, provided they stay in the province for at least a year.

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