Piling Canada

Construction skilled trades have high job satisfaction levels

Industry News
Written by Piling Canada
June 2019

Ontario’s construction industry is facing labour supply issues despite the tremendous opportunities that await young people across a wide spectrum of trades. These opportunities will improve for two major reasons: the wave of retirement that is anticipated over the next decade and the expectation that construction activity will increase due to the emphasis on infrastructure from Ottawa and Queen’s Park.

The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), with support from the Ontario government, commissioned two reports that provide a road map to improve recruitment and retention of young workers. These reports are bolstered by a video series which highlight the high job satisfaction of trades workers who are currently employed across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and beyond.

A firm specializing in work-related research, Job Talks, conducted a comprehensive online, 30-minute survey of 412 skilled trades workers, which resulted in the report, “Retaining Employees in the Skilled Trades.” Among the findings, author Dr. Jon Callegher concludes that:

  • Despite the stigma associated with construction trades, 65 per cent of the GTA trades workers rated their job satisfaction between eight and 10 on a scale of one to 10. The average score was 7.9.
  • Nearly two-thirds of skilled trades workers would strongly recommend the trades to a young person.
  • Eighty-one per cent of the workers enjoy a sense of financial security.
  • Many survey participants also said that construction challenges their bodies and minds, that they are always learning and that they enjoy the camaraderie and the team approach at the workplace.

The second study, “A Behavioural Economics Approach to Recruitment in Skilled Construction Trades,” by Jason Steward and Lindsay McCardle, finds that young people require more career information to make the right career decisions through an EAST framework: making desired choices and actions Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely.

If these approaches are used by influencers – including teachers, guidance counsellors, parents and industry – this will improve the number of young people who will consider and enter the skilled trades at a younger age.

The reports add that behavioural economics principles can be used to better inform guidance counsellors on how they can provide more effective career guidance on the industry, including the creation of a “third wall” of career options (the first wall in the guidance office is for universities, the second for colleges, the third for the skilled trades). 🍁

Category: Industry News

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.

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