(File photo)

Letter: Opportunities abound in construction

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.

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

Complex-care facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

UPDATE: One dead after crash on Highway 97A near Armstrong

Police have confirmed that one person is dead following an accident on Highway 97A Friday

Multi-vehicle collision slows traffic on Highway 1

Trans-Canada Highway reduced to single lane between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Music program discord attributed to lack of oversight

North-Okanagan-Shuswap schools struggle to retain musical excellence amidst many challenges

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Developer makes an effort to help Okanagan students left homeless after flood

U-Two developer is making an effort to help university students who were left in a lurch

Most Read