Letter: Raising awareness of opportunities in skilled trades

Wanted: Skilled tradespeople. Must enjoy great wages, rewarding work, and a bright future.

The Editor,

Wanted: Skilled tradespeople. Must enjoy great wages, rewarding work, and a bright future. As employment ads go, does this sound too good to be true? It’s actually not.

April is Construction and Skilled Trades Month in B.C., which is a perfect time to raise awareness about the opportunities in the skilled trades.

In 2017, the B.C. construction industry had 8,395 job vacancies, representing a 20 per cent increase over the previous year, and 25 per cent of Canada’s overall construction industry job vacancies. In fact, trades jobs are expected to comprise 11 per cent of all job openings in B.C. in the next decade. That’s more than 100,000 jobs.

The skilled trades are well paid, in demand and portable, with significant opportunities for advancement.

And it gets even better because, over the next three years, this province will invest $15.8 billion in taxpayer-funded infrastructure throughout B.C., supporting thousands of jobs during construction. These projects have the potential to set the bar high in terms of benefits to the communities they serve. This isn’t a new concept. Community Benefits Agreements — formal agreements between governments and contractors — have been used with success throughout North America for more than two decades. Both union and non-union contractors can — and do — build public projects with community benefits. These agreements can ensure that workers are paid fairly and that opportunities exist for qualified local workers, apprentices, women in trades and Indigenous workers. Community Benefits Agreements can literally change the economic landscape for the better by gifting communities with a legacy of skills, training, employability and local investment.

So Construction and Skilled Trades Month aren’t just about the 200,000 workers employed in the construction sector. It’s about all of us who use and pay for the bridges, roads, dams, and structures that these workers have built.

Public infrastructure projects should provide community benefits that are wide and deep. It’s as simple and as necessary as that.

Tom Sigurdson

Executive Director, BC Building Trades

Just Posted

Syringa fires under control

After more than a month, the Syringa Fire Complex is not expected to grow any larger.

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

Kootenay West MLA addresses Trail acid spills

Conroy seeking answers to public’s questions

Off to the races!

Plenty of choice for Castlegar voters in the municipal election

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

B.C. MLAs reminded of rural school struggles

Finance committee hears of falling enrolment, staff shortages

B.C. VIEWS: ’Not photo radar’ coming soon to high-crash areas

ICBC deficit now largely due to reckless and distracted driving

Researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada

Information will be used to learn more about where white sharks move in Canadian waters

Mix-up of bodies leads to funeral home reforms in Nova Scotia

One woman was was mistakenly cremated, another was embalmed and presented to family members during a visitation that went horribly wrong

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Cyclists finish North America trip to highlight Ukraine struggle

The 10,000 bike ride raised over $10,000 for victims of the war in Ukraine.

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Most Read