Construction outlook for 2018
Sam Sanderson of the Construction Association of PEI (CAPEI) says there’s every indication the sector is booming and moving forward on the Island.
“There are bigger and better things to come in 2018 and 2019 with recent announcements of plans for residential and commercial construction,” he says. “Residential housing starts were up 43.7 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, and PEI is leading the nation in commercial construction per capita.”
“We have great opportunities and partnerships within the community to make the trades a great career path and build the Island’s economy,” Sam says. “Our members are looking to hire up to 400 additional workers to keep up with the extraordinary demand.
“Multiple companies are looking for estimators and they can’t find them. Some companies have been looking for two years; one company has hired a head hunter in Ontario and has had no success in three months.”
Youth in trades
CAPEI has administered a Youth in Trades program for 25 years. The program accepts youth at risk and helps them build a trades career.
“The program is tremendous in helping youth get apprenticeships. The Government of Canada has given funding for the next three years through its Youth Employment Strategy to continue the work.”
In 2017, the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning supported CAPEI to form Team Construction which included a Youth in Trades program.
“All government levels are listening to the needs of the industry and are working in partnership to get people interested in the trades sector.”
Sam says construction associations across Canada are seeing similar skill shortages. CAPEI is working to attract skilled trades workers with IslandBuilder.ca funded by SkillsPEI, a division of Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning. This recruitment campaign will feature radio and poster ads across the country in 2018. “We want to let people know the industry is strong on PEI, and you can build a career and a life here.”
Human resources support for members
CAPEI has 190 active members, and numbers are growing. Sam notes many of the member companies need support for their hiring needs.
The association has hired Kevin McGee as HR Manager. He regularly meets with CAPEI members and will post open positions on WorkPEI.ca for them. “I am working with the companies to see what their needs are now and what positions are hardest to fill. I look forward to raising awareness of the construction industry on PEI and helping to attract skilled trades workers.”
“Our members are so busy managing their work such as accounting, estimating, scheduling and staff,” Sam says. “They have told us time and time again they don’t have the time to post a job. We hope the service will promote trades and help match job seekers with employers.”
For more information about the Construction Association of PEI, call 902-368-3303. Visit www.capei.ca.
Construction companies on Prince Edward Island – Hiring practices
- Allstar Cresting and Embroidery and Screen Printing, Charlottetown
- ALL-TECH Environmental Services Ltd., Charlottetown
- Armadillo Metal Roofing Systems Inc., Mermaid
- Arsenault Brothers, located in all Atlantic Provinces
- Atlantic Roofers, Charlottetown
- Beyond the Garden Landscaping, Rustico
- Bird Stairs – J.W. Bird and Company Limited, Charlottetown
- Boswall’s Basement Systems, Marshfield
- Cardigan Excavators Limited, Cardigan
- CB Construction Inc., Cornwall
- CTS – Canadian Tracking Solutions, Charlottetown
- Eastern Kings Timber, Souris
- EMCO Corporation, Charlottetown
- Feasible Fuels, Summerside, Charlottetown and Montague
- Greenfoot Energy Solutions, Winsloe & Moncton
- HCC Metal & Ore Inc., Charlottetown
- Hilchie Quality Homes, Stratford
- Island Thermal Innovations, Crapaud
- Island Water Technologies, Montague
- JC Handy Man Services & Sales, Alberton
- Leading Edge Homes, Johnstons River
- Paul Davis Restoration PEI, Summerside & Cornwall
- PEI Brick Company, Crapaud
- Ravenwood Stairways, Bloomfield
- Regal Cresting, Alberton
- Royalty Hardwoods Ltd., Poole’s Corner
- Scotcor Construction, Summerside
- Sign Cut Inc., Stratford
- Somerset Gardens Inc., Kinkora
- Threads of Life – Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support
- TJ’s Windows & Castle Building Centre, Charlottetown
- toolboxexperts.com, Charlottetown
- Tops to Floors, Charlottetown & Travellers Rest
- Victory Stone, Charlottetown
- Warren Carpentry, Summerside
Job titles and jobs in demand
Carpenters, Project Managers, Estimators, Site Supervisors, Electricians, and Floor Installers are in demand.
“One electrical contractor said this was the first time in 16 years they had a crew of 16 working through the month of January,” says Sam. “Now they have 18 on staff and are looking for two more. They said it was the first time ever working 16 hours a day this time of the year.”
Sam says that generally speaking all trades in the industry are in demand, including:
- Electrical power line and cable workers
- Refrigeration (HVAC)
- Ironworkers and structural metal fabricators
- Cabinet makers
- Heavy equipment operators
- Truck drivers
- Concrete specialists
- Safety professionals
- Project managers
- Site managers
- Environmental Technologists
- Welders and related machine operators
- Renovation managers
- Floor Installers
- Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
Range of salaries for PEI construction workers
Sam listed a range of salaries PEI construction workers can expect:
- Labourer: start at $12 to $18 per hour; possibly can earn $20 per hour
- Apprentice Carpenters: $15 to $20 per hour
- Experienced Carpenters: $20 to $24 per hour
Exploring ways to work in the construction industry on PEI
- “We encourage anyone interested in trades or those who are skilled tradespeople to go to our website and find a list of our great members and contact them directly,” says Sam.
- Contact Canadian Home Builders Association-PEI at 902-367-6125. Visit www.chba-pei.ca. The association would be glad to talk with those interested in the field and suggest ways to get started in a trade on PEI.
Apprenticeship – earn while you learn
To enter the apprenticeship program, a person must:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Have a high school completion certificate or equivalent
- Be working in one of PEI’s 58 designated trades with a suitable employer
- Other eligibility and allowances may apply.
For more details, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/apprenticeship-and-certification.
Trades education and training
Holland College offers a number of programs to gain employment in the construction industry. Visit www.hollandcollege.com/programs.
UPEI’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering (SDE). Visit www.upei.ca/science/engineering.
|For more information about the Construction Association sector on PEI, call 902-368-3303. Visit www.capei.ca.
For more about Buildforce Canada, visit www.buildforce.ca/en.
For more about the Canadian Home Builders Association-PEI, call 902-367-6125 . Visit www.chba-pei.ca.
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