As 1,500 construction workers will be needed in the next 10 years to keep pace with major projects, an upswing in home building and the rise in retirements.

Rosemary Sparks, executive director of BuildForce Canada, said the number of retirees already exceeds the number of local youth expected to enter the industry.

“Baby boomers are leaving P.E.I.’s construction industry in such rapid succession that it’s getting harder to replace them,” said Sparks.

The 2017-2026 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows moderate job growth in residential and non-residential construction over the next decade, with the strongest gains in both sectors are anticipated over the next five years with the addition of 600 new jobs.

Institutional and commercial building rises steadily into 2022 while industrial building remains stable.

A transmission project, significant road, highway and bridgework sustain engineering employment at high levels before receding after 2020.

New housing demands rise over the next five years, driven by steady levels of immigration. As residential activity declines, non-residential construction sustains employment above current levels.

“Steady recruitment and training is a must to help build P.E.I.’s construction workforce,” said Sparks. “As the pool of local younger workers gets smaller, industry will need to stay focused on recruiting from other industries or outside the province.”