Like many countries, Canada is struggling to source enough workers to sustain their construction workforce. BuildForce Canada estimates that there will be a shortfall of nearly 30,000 workers between 2018 and 2027. Approximately 21% of the current workforce is due to retire over the coming decade, with fewer new workers entering the industry. To attract and retain the top talent, creative methods are required.
Bridging the Gap
One solution has been the purchasing of UK consultancies as a strategic way of sourcing new talent to address the labour shortage during a boom period for the construction industry.
Over the last 10 years, the engineering consultancy landscape within the UK has changed considerably thanks to a number of major takeovers. This included Canadian companies such as SNC Lavalin’s acquisition of Atkins in April 2017, and Genivar, who bought WSP in 2012 and has since made further acquisitions.
There is some debate as to whether future consolidation is good for the industry. However, the reality for many employees is that these takeovers create more opportunities, particularly for working abroad. Instead of working on global projects remotely, why not work in the country they are being built in?
The good business relationships between Canada and the UK mean there’s a unique opportunity for anyone considering working in Canada. The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) provisionally came into force in September 2017 and makes it easier for British professionals to work in Canada.
What kind of work is available?
Canada has a strong service sector, meaning that commercial and institutional building construction is in steady demand, along with the infrastructure associated with these types of buildings. Residential work – both in new housing developments and maintenance – makes up for nearly half of the construction industry employment figures, while engineering represents nearly a quarter.
There is also a steady stream of large infrastructure plans in the works. Many of these projects are being procured using the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP or P3) model, for which Canada is increasingly becoming known as the global expert.
One of the most interesting projects is the Toronto Pearson International Airport upgrades as part of their Master Plan 2017–2037. This forward-looking plan is aimed at getting the airport ready to cope with a projected 92% increase in passenger numbers by 2037. To help them achieve this, they are looking for experienced Program Directors for Airport Infrastructure Redevelopment and Infrastructure Development, Building Construction, Building Refurbishment, Airport Development, and Baggage Handling.
And if airports aren’t your area of expertise, check out our other vacancies across the country. If you would like to know more about any of these roles, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
About the Author
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada
I am responsible for the Maxim Recruitment office in the UK where our team of recruitment consultants specialise in the recruitment of quantity surveyors, commercial managers, delay, dispute and claims consultants for civil engineering and building contractors and specialist construction consultancies. I am also responsible for growing our recruitment operation in Canada and the USA where we are increasingly busy. I have over 20 years’ experience in construction recruitment and enjoy working on both contingency and search/headhunting assignments for our repeat clients.
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