How building a sustainable future will impact labor availability in Canada

Building a greener future will cause labour pressures across Canada

“Construction industry faces looming challenges as Canada shifts towards greener practices.

BuildForce Canada’s latest report, ‘Building a Greener Future,’ highlights the significant demand for heating and refrigeration, and air conditioning mechanics as the industry strives to meet green targets. With a required growth of close to 400 per cent in this sector, the pressure is on to attract more individuals to the trade.

Transitioning away from fossil fuels towards electric sources is also impacting gas fitters, urging the industry to find ways to retain experienced workers. This shift is necessary to support the federal government’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Implications of a Greener Future

The report estimates that retrofitting Canada’s buildings with sustainable fuel sources could create the need for as many as 57,000 additional construction workers by 2032, along with generating over $81 billion in new construction investments. However, the complexity of transitioning commercial and institutional buildings hinders a complete assessment of the workforce required.

Custom Work in the Commercial Sector

While the residential sector may see jobs related to fuel switching and energy-efficiency retrofits, the commercial side demands more custom work. Particularly in spaces heating and water heating, the industry needs to adapt to new technologies like heat pumps while considering workforce implications and trade pressures.

Provincial Variances in Transition

The report also analyzes the provincial impacts of the green-building transition, noting that provinces like Quebec and the Atlantic already have homes equipped with electric-powered heating. On the other hand, Ontario and Prairie provinces heavily rely on fossil fuels, creating a high demand for skilled workers to perform fuel switching.

In conclusion, as the construction industry faces the challenges of transitioning towards greener practices, the need for skilled workers and custom solutions becomes more apparent. Balancing the demands of energy efficiency improvements with the industry’s workforce capabilities remains a central challenge. To achieve a sustainable future, collaborative efforts are essential to navigate this transition effectively.”



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