December 30, 2013
2013 Year in Review: What was the main lesson of last year?
The Journal of Commerce asked members of the Editorial Advisory Board to survey the construction landscape in 2013 and tell us what they learned. Here are their responses.
Anibal Valente | PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc.
"The skilled-trades shortage is real and here to stay for the foreseeable future. We have to keep hiring more apprentices and to continue to look outside our borders for skilled people to, not only help train our apprentices, but also to help meet overall needs. We must show young people they can have a rewarding and fulfilling career in the industry."
Dan Mott |Mott Electric
"Students and the education system are catching on that apprenticeships are a truly viable alternative to an expensive post-secondary path. The construction industry must take mentoring responsibilities seriously. We need to employ, teach and ensure that these keen young adults get time to attend apprenticeship school and complete their four year program. A real apprenticeship is still the best career path."
Jack Davidson | B.C. Road Builders
"The opportunities that lie ahead have never been greater. BC Hydro upgrades, Site C dam, pipelines, LNG plants, new mines, and new growth in the forestry sector will all be needing workers to build the projects and the supporting infrastructure. These projects are going ahead and creating prosperity because British Columbians voted for jobs."
Grant McMillan | COCA
"We learned to bring a healthy dose of skepticism to provincial political polling results."
Manley McLachlan | BCCA
"2013 taught us - again - that the skills shortage won’t be solved without multi-sector collaboration, great labour market information, and a co-ordinated effort between government and the private sector. A cultural shift in how Canadians view the trades wouldn’t hurt either. We have work to do."
Norm Streu | LMS Steel
"Construction companies need to get much better at attracting and retaining workers. The old ways of the construction industry are over -- the companies that will succeed in today’s industry are those that are best able to attract and engage with tomorrow’s workforce."
Philip Hochstein | ICBA
"The construction industry learned never to believe political pundits or pollsters. Despite dire predictions the B.C. Liberals won the 2013 election on a platform that says yes to economic development projects. That bodes well for the prosperity of our province and our construction industry."
Tom Sigurdson | B.C. Building Trades
"Expect the unexpected."
Don Schouten | WorkSafeBC
"2013 has been a year of continued improvement for safety in the industry. This is as a result of industry working together, sharing ideas and understanding safety is not a trade secret. However, serious injuries are still occurring due to falls from heights. Keeping workers safe is not only good for business, it makes it possible for everyone to go home to their families each and every day."
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