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.
Yesterday’s announcement by the NDP that they would pour more money into skills training was short on specifics and had little in real action to get more workers certified.
The reality is that throwing more money at the system and promising to hire more bureaucrats to run it will do nothing to connect young people with training. In fact, a return to the old training system that existed under the last NDP government would actually end up increasing skills shortages.
Almost 9,000 workers earned their certification in 2012. That’s more than double the 3,600 who graduated back in 2000-01.
The NDP is focusing on the wrong numbers. Graduation rates have been the same 40% range for more than a decade. But with more people in the training system now, we’re graduating record numbers of skilled workers.
The system isn’t broken – unless the NDP gets their hand on it.
All organizations are faced with mounting competitive pressures and escalating expectations and demands from clients and customers. The people in the organization are being asked to meet these increasing demands with fewer resources. Today organizations that hope to remain financially viable must unleash the potential of their most precious resource – the human asset!
Construction is a crystal ball industry – it’s about figuring our costs and demands tomorrow to determine the bids you’ll make today. And with labour one of the biggest cost components of any project, it’s good to know the lay of the land.
The Construction Sector Council looks at as many indicators as possible from across the country to get a read on the kinds of skills the industry will need up until the beginning of the next decade. One clear message is there’s a long list of trades working on the big resource and utility projects – often in the North – that will be in short supply as projects start up between 2013 to 2016.
While it’s electricians who handle wiring and electricity, all construction workers work with and around electricity all day every day.
That’s why ICBA’s Electrical Safety Course aims to provide a starting point for workers, supervisors and safety officers to understand the basics of electrical safety.
New rules in British Columbia allow workers’ rights to file WorksafeBC claims for mental disorders predominantly caused by their jobs. This same legislation also created responsibilities on all employers to manage risks to employee mental health, and specifically required employers to have a system to prevent bullying and harassment.
In January 2013, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) released a new national standard called ‘CSA-Z1003 Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace’. While still a ‘voluntary standard’ it is clearly evident that these changes are coming, and that employers must take action.
British Columbians will be headed to the polls to choose their next provincial government in a few weeks, which is why the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association has come out with a newsletter aimed at reminding people about the NDP record in the 1990s – and what’s at risk if they return to power.
“Some people want to push the NDP’s record into the past. But there’s truth to Winston Churchill’s line that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it,” said ICBA President Philip Hochstein. “Our latest Construction Monitor newsletter looks at both the history and the kind of policies and economic accomplishments at risk with an NDP win.”
Our friends over at the British Columbia Common Ground Alliance have an offer you just can’t refuse – free breakfast at their Lower Mainland Contractors’ Breakfast slated for April 5.
The session targets everyone in the business of ground disturbing – excavating contractors, road crews, public works crews, landscapers, fence installers, sign companies, farmers, homeowners. Along with the free breakfast, attendees will learn about how they can keep themselves and their communities safe by following proper ground disturbance procedures.
We don’t get what we deserve – we get what we negotiate. That’s why learning how to handle negotiations is a key construction skill. Many individuals often fail in negotiation not because they are unable to get an agreement, but because they walk away from the table when they could have done much better.
In this seminar participants will learn a proven, practical step-by-step approach to win-win negotiations and how to protect themselves from “hardball” negotiators.
Today’s budget tabled by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has a focus on job-building infrastructure projects.
That’s great news for the construction industry here in B.C. and across the country because these kinds of investments keep companies busy. It’s also great news since they are often the kind of projects that help build the overall economy, something that benefits the industry greatly.
Business in Vancouver has run a pair of solid articles in recent weeks over the rampant problems with the licencing and permitting process at the City of Vancouver.
Former city councillor Peter Ladner laid out some of the challenges in a column calling for changes to the system. His column, which you can read here, lays out the kind of problems that hike construction costs and add frustrating delays.