Hundreds of billions worth of construction projects are on the drawing board in B.C. As a result, most construction contractors geared up for even more work this year, despite an already intense pace. This will keep the industry’s GDP and employment contributions growing at the same pace as the provincial economy.
ICBA staff travelled back in time and out to the bowling alley to take part in the annual Bowl for Big Brothers for the fourth straight year. The team dressed the part for the 80s night theme and did their part to raise funds to help the charity.
The ICBA squad raised more than $700 that will go to help support the Big Brothers mentoring programs that help kids reach their full potential by heightening self esteem and enabling them to make healthy decisions.
You can get more information on Bowl for Big Brothers and the organization on their event website.
One of our members recently got their hands on a tender bid for construction work with the BC Nurses Union.
The biggest and boldest part of the call for bids were three giant words:
UNION TRADES ONLY
Besides being a bit of overkill in terms of typography, it’s also a contract condition that will hurt the nurses.
That’s why ICBA President Philip Hochstein sent a letter to the nurses offering free advice on how the could save money on their construction work – and plough the money that flows from taxpayers, to nurses, to the union, back in to services for their membership. Open the contract to all bidders, including the more than 80% belonging to the Open Shop.
ICBA’s Hazard Recognition and Control session on March 11 will give participants the knowledge they need to understand the principle of hazard recognition and control as well as the methods used to ensure hazards are identified and adequately addressed in the workplace.
By the time the session is over, sessions participants will have the tools they need to identify hazards, assess them, and score them by priority. They will also learn methods to take the information gathered and develop Safe Work Procedures to mitigate the hazards.
The Industry Training Authority will be talking about skills in the city when it hosts its Community Dialogue about Trades Training and Careers in Kamloops on March 12.
This free public event is an opportunity for Kamloops area residents to speak with ITA CEO Kevin Evans, and members of ITA’s Board of Directors, about trades training and its connection to the community’s future prosperity.
They’re looking for workers to tell their own story about how a career in the trades has positively impacted their life. Workers who share their thoughts on the benefits of being a skilled trades worker get a shot a the price – a featured role in a short video and a $25 gift card from Tim Hortons. The hope is that the stories will highlight the benefits of trades training to the next generation of workers.
An entry form, details on how to apply, and contest rules are available here. The deadline to apply is March 5 so don’t delay!
There was a solid analysis of the business cost of Family Day in today’s Vancouver Sun by adjunct professor John H. Redekop from Trinity Western University. Tallying up the holiday pay and bonus pay in both the public and private sectors, and adding in lost businesses for the businesses (many of them construction companies) who had to close for the day – Redekop estimated that the B.C. economy took a $200 million hit.
It’s a great lesson in the real costs of something that too many people think is free.
There are rules around procurement in British Columbia and ICBA’s course Tender Law: Procurement in the Construction Industry aims to provide a refresher and update on the current state of the procurement and tendering laws in BC. Keeping current on what rights and obligations is critical to those who wish to successfully participate in B.C.’s vibrant construction industry.
The tender process will be examined with an emphasis on how to make the best choices and minimize legal risks in the tender process and avoid costly situations for all parties.
There has been plenty of commentary about the provincial budget delivered last week in B.C. The budget is balanced, which in the big picture is good. It sends a message to the global investment community that B.C. is a prudent place – and a safe haven for investment.
ICBA’s major worry ahead of time was that the budget would be balanced by slashing critical investments in infrastructure. Though the total provincial capital budget (made up of government and Crown corporation projects) is going down (bad), it’s by a relatively small amount (good). Capital spending in B.C. will drop from $6.7 billion in 2012-13 to $6.2 billion in 2013-14, and then to $5.8 billion by 2015-16. As we pointed out in our recent Construction Monitor, infrastructure investment grows both the construction industry and the economy.
One of the challenges ICBA members face is finding the right person for the right job. With skill shortages looming in British Columbia, companies are having to look further and further afield for new hires.
But small companies face a challenge – how do they tap into the vast pool of skilled workers ready to come to Canada and work? ICBA members now have access to recruitment fairs around the world at a discount thanks to a new partnership with Working In, the company that puts on these recruitment events across the globe.
Changes are coming to the online system system used by contractors to purchase their gas and electrical permits from the BC Safety Authority. While permits are currently obtained through the BC Online system, as of April 15 all permit purchases will go through a revamped My Connections site.
Probably the biggest change is that clients will be required to provide a postal code for where the permit will be located. It’s a good idea to make sure you collect this information as a part of all projects moving forward.