Building a Career in Construction: from BC Labour Shortages to Employee Incentives

With an influx of new residents into the province over the last few years, British Columbia is booming when it comes to general contracting and construction renovation projects. According to the latest BC Construction Association (BCCA) Industry Survey, Construction is ranked as the number one employer in BC’s goods sector, and accounts for 9.3%, or $23 billion, of the province’s overall GDP. 

Despite huge labour shortages and an all-time high cost of materials, there has been a 79% increase in the value of current projects underway across BC over the past five years. In order to keep up with these current projects, there needs to be more people going into the construction industry. 

The upside of labour shortages

There’s no better time to choose a career in construction. The latest from BC Construction’s industry survey estimates that in BC, over 5600 jobs will be unfilled due to labour shortages by 2027. So, there’s plenty of room in the industry and plenty of room for growth. 

If you listen to the news at all, this is reflective of the overall labour shortage in Canada. Reasons include a strong uptick of projects happening, the cost of goods going up, as well as the natural progression of an aging workforce who are ready to retire. 

Good news for those wanting to get into the construction workforce – in response to the labour shortage, yearly construction earnings have increased significantly. The average salary sits 8% above pre-pandemic levels, and 14% higher than five years ago. 

Not only are wages increasing but there’s more reliable work as well. People working year-round account for 84% of the workforce and almost 100% are working full time hours. When polled by the BC Construction Industry survey, half of those working in the industry said they make more money than they did the year before. 

three construction workers looking at a blueprint and chatting on a building site

Why get into the trades?

In response to growing concerns about labour shortages across Canada in the last few years, there has been a focus on recruitment, retention, and enhanced training for the trades, especially in construction. The federal government offers a range of tax credits and incentives trades apprentices can benefit from, such as: 

  • Tool deductions
  • Eligible tuition fees, as well as certain licencing examination fees
  • Education and textbook amounts (if applicable)

To learn more, visit the Canada Revenue Agency. There you’ll find a complete list of eligibility requirements for all available tax credits and benefits.

There’s also positive news for women hoping to get into the workforce. In an effort to balance the gender gap in construction, there are now more subsidies for women looking for training and mentorship than ever before. Plus, the number of companies with diversity policies in place has risen to 84% from 62% in just a few short years. 

panoramic view of young female construction worker with a building team in the background

Career opportunities with Chriscan 

There are 26,262 construction companies working across British Columbia but not all of those companies are at the same level. When our founder, Len Suchocki started Chriscan in 1992, he did so with a strong foundation of high standards and attention to detail. That continues today, both in our work and when it comes to our team of employees. We know what it takes to attract and retain good talent. 

What we can offer: 

Education development: Chriscan is an active member of the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and encourages and supports everyone on our team to further their education and earn their red seal journeyman carpenter status. Honing your craft and setting new challenges for yourself is important for employee satisfaction.

Possibility of growth: We strongly believe in promoting from within and believe our very low turnover links directly to this. Many of our employees are long-term, ranging from 1-19 years with the company. And we’re proud to say that everyone we have in management and leadership roles have moved up through the company, including our current owner and president, Jim Kitchin. When you’re working with our company, we make sure there’s room for growth through long-term career opportunities. 

Boosting employee engagement: Because of the wide range of jobs happening across the Central Okanagan, sometimes people can go months without seeing each other. We hold two annual company events to bring everyone together to catch up. Encouraging team bonding and building, as well as celebrating the team’s accomplishments on projects we work on is important to the culture of Chriscan Construction. 

We’re always seeking dedicated professionals to join our award-winning team. If you’re interested in joining the Chriscan team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

construction workers huddled around a work table with blueprints on it, as well as a yellow hard hat, a ruler and pencil

Work with Chriscan on your next construction project

Looking for an experienced contractor for your next construction project? Feel free to contact us and get a free consultation today.

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