The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) will soon offer a skilled trades program known as Building Builders to help reduce skilled workforce shortages and help train Canadians in the industry.
The program will connect under- and unemployed workers, labourers, and unregistered apprentices with established credentialed tradespeople, executives, and industry leaders who have been working in the province’s construction industry for a minimum of 10 years. These mentorships will provide career guidance for workers and a talent acquisition opportunity for employers who are seeking new workers during the ongoing labour shortage.
The program objectives are:
- To attract non-traditional workers to the industry.
- To retain existing workers who are not yet on a solid career path and potentially not supported in apprenticeship by their current employer.
- To lower the average age of apprenticeship initiation.
- To improve apprenticeship registration and completion rates.
- To place mentees in employment with mentor companies.
By 2027, there will be an estimated 27,000 job openings in B.C.’s construction industry due to expansion and retirement. Many of them will need to be filled from outside the industry by new entrants without established connections, and through retention of current workers. Building Builders seeks to establish a greater sense of community resulting in more institutionalized support for newcomers to the industry.
Applications from mentors and mentees will open in August. The program is funded to run for approximately two years and will seek to support 300 mentees through a 12-month mentorship.