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The Toronto Region Board of Trade’s ground-breaking report, Building Infrastructure, Building Talent, highlights a need for 147,000 jobs.

About 118,000 workers are needed to respond to planned construction activity — including transit, roads, hospitals, shopping centres, housing and schools — and another 29,000 are needed to replace workers expected to retire.

The report — released in early October — breaks down the types of jobs needed by occupation, training required and potential income in five-year increments. Among its conclusions:

  • 62% of the jobs will require some form of diploma, certificate or apprenticeship
  • 70% of the jobs will pay more than double Ontario’s minimum wage.

The report highlights frustration among employers regarding a perceived lack of interest in construction careers by young people and underscores the need to strengthen pathways to construction-related careers.

“This is a blueprint for our region’s economic and social success. There are literally 147,000 reasons to strengthen the pathways to construction-related careers,” says Jan De Silva, Board of Trade president and CEO.

Here’s a sampling of the 18 recommendations the Board of Trade offers employers, policy makers and education providers:

Employers: Get more involved in training, decision making, community outreach and monitoring results. Actively participate on program advisory committees at local post-secondary institutions and provide educators with current data on priority occupations, skill requirements and equipment needs.

Policy makers: Both provincial and federal policy makers should promote opportunities in the construction industry, while eliminating barriers that hinder the development of talent.

At the provincial level, it encourages the ministry of advanced education and skills developed to launch an advertising campaign promoting the construction industry and the job openings that are coming to the Toronto region and other municipalities,

Education providers: Do more of what you’re already doing. Frequently communicate your curriculum, equipment and other needs to employers. Struggling to connect with industry-specific employers? Consider leveraging an industry association, chamber of commerce or the new employer-led collaborative proposed in the board’s report for help.

The Top 10

The Toronto Region Board of Trade lists the following as the top 10 of the top 50 in-demand construction-related occupations from 2017-2031:

  • Construction trades helpers and labourers
  • Carpenters
  • Construction managers
  • Electricians (except industrial and power system)
  • Home building and renovation managers
  • Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
  • Plumbers
  • Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers
  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers
  • Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
 
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