Over 250,000 construction workers are expected to retire this decade.

Those workers account for 21 per cent of Canada’s construction workforce. To meet labour requirements, 277,000 construction workers will need to be added.

“Despite slower employment growth in most provinces, recruitment pressures will intensify,” said Bill Ferreira, executive director of BuildForce Canada. “Simply put, the industry must remain focused on recruitment, training, and mentoring efforts to prevent a potential skills and capacity gap over the next 10 years.”

The organization expects 22,000 workers to be added by the end of the decade as a result of non-residential job growth and small declines in residential construction.

“With increasing competition for a shrinking pool of young people, it will be necessary to step up recruitment efforts to attract greater numbers of new Canadians, women, and Indigenous people to Canada’s construction workforce,” said Ferreira.

Forecasts anticipates slow and uneven construction job growth this decade – British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and Ontario’s Central and Eastern regions excepted.

Major transportation, utility and other infrastructure projects are expected to hike non-residential employment up a further 3 per cent, totalling 18,400 workers, by 2020.

That growth is concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia, driven by major nuclear refurbishment, LNG (liquefied natural gas), energy and transportation infrastructure projects.

Commercial and institutional building construction is expected to drive job growth for most provinces.

BuildForce reports that commodity price uncertainty and changing global demands translate into resource development project delays and cancellations across Canada.

As a result, engineering construction employment is expected to decline by 4 per cent this decade

The organization expects major public transportation and other infrastructure projects to drive employment opportunities across most provinces, boosted by federal and provincial investments.

Maintenance work (heavy industrial and non-residential buildings) is on a steady but moderate increase this decade, with higher demands expected this year in Alberta and New Brunswick.