As New Brunswick’s construction industry continues to boom, the lack of a qualified and dedicated labour force to fill the gap is becoming an ever more pressing concern. In fact, it is estimated that the province needs at least 5,000 workers over the next five years. This has led to the Moncton Northeast Construction Association (MNCC) calling on immigration to help alleviate the labour shortage, as nearly a third of construction employees in the area are 55 or over and set to retire soon.
The labour shortage is not exclusive to New Brunswick, as Canada’s construction industry is going through a similar crisis nationwide. Unfilled posts, plummeting productivity and even slower economic growth are all symptoms of this lack of available skilled workers. The reality is that the current pool of young workers is not enough to meet the industry’s needs.
The MNCC has suggested that to address the issue of labour shortage, companies need to explore different types of construction management, such as cloud-based management, which can help managers keep track of employees and increase productivity. Companies also need to encourage more young people to pursue a career in construction. Implementing attractive wages and flexible working schedules can help make the industry more attractive to potential new employees.
Another way to address the labour shortage is for construction companies to find alternative solutions, such as automation and robotics. Automated solutions can reduce the need for manual labour, especially in hazardous activities. However, most construction companies are reluctant to invest in this technology right now, as they may not be able to recoup their expenses quickly enough.
Finally, the construction industry also needs to focus more on worker safety, which is essential to ensure the safety of employees and protect them from injury. Construction firms should invest in training and safety equipment, as well as encouraging workers to take regular breaks and giving them proper access to rest and recovery facilities.
The construction industry in New Brunwick and across Canada is facing a growing labour shortage, but there are solutions. By encouraging more young people to join the sector, exploring new management strategies and investing in automation and safety, the industry can adapt and overcome its current challenges.