NS: Young workers key to building Nova Scotia’s construction industry


With well over 6,000 workers retiring over the next decade, Nova Scotia’s construction industry will need to step up efforts to attract more young people, according to BuildForce Canada.

The 2014-2023 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast released by BuildForce Canada shows modest employment growth at the same time as the industry faces an increase in retirements and out-of-province resource projects.

“Up to 25% of the workforce will be retiring over the next decade, creating a real need for young, skilled workers,” said Rosemary Sparks, executive director of BuildForce Canada. “There is a lot of opportunity in construction, making it a great career choice for young people.”

Employment opportunities will shift to industrial and utility projects, with commercial, industrial and utility construction supporting current levels of employment. Modest job growth and equal gains and losses will balance activity in most years to 2023.

Employment remains unchanged in the residential sector, as a gain in residential renovation balances a moderate downturn in new housing.

Nova Scotia’s older than average workforce adds to the pace of retirement, with just over 6,600 workers retiring over the next 10 years across all 33 trades and occupations tracked.

“Projects in other provinces and industries, such as shipbuilding, also create skilled labour challenges for the construction industry,” added Sparks. “This is the new reality that makes recruiting, training and retaining a skilled construction workforce more important than ever.”

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