Friday, May 30, 2014

New Hiring Trends in residential construction for 2014

New Hiring Trends in residential construction for 2014

With the overly long winter that brought colder than normal temperatures into the spring time, has brought construction of new homes being slowed by clients that are unwilling to start in the colder weather and in rural area’s the half load restrictions being kept on the roads much longer than normal, this has created a sluggish start to the construction season.

Since projects are slow in starting the hiring has been slow as well, as normal construction companies have not started ramping up for the summer as it looks like the late summer to early fall is going to be the busier time of year, this hiring model is a trend that has continued from the 2 previous years.

In the past couple of years there have been a growing number of younger people applying for jobs looking to get into the trades and become apprentices. That has slowed a little in some trades lately like electricians.

New government regulations and the Newly Formed College of Trades have brought tight restrictions and harsh penalties to companies when hiring apprentices. New employees with little to no experience have become almost impossible to employ as electricians without them being immediately signed up for apprenticeships. This scenario isn’t allowing anytime for employer and employee to get to know each other before being pushed into the program. The push back is less apprentices being signed up and there for less younger people getting the chance to learn the electrical trade.

Overall the people that are applying for work are all under 40 years old and come with a wide degree of skill and experience or lack or either.

Every year more women are applying for jobs in the trades for any and all positions available, this is an encouraging sign as more diversity in the trades helps create a better working environment.

In actual carpentry it is still extremely hard to find companies that will take on apprentices as they have cut their overall workforce and hired more sub-contractors for the wood working aspect. This makes it difficult for people looking for apprenticeships as the sub-contractors do not have the properly licensed carpenters or the appropriate ratios take more than one at a time. The attrition rate of apprentices ever finishing the apprentice course is usually less then 50%, so companies usually like to have more then one apprentice at a time. Add the fact that all licensed carpenters now have to pay a fee to the College Of Trades or they don't qualify to teach apprentices. This is putting added pressure on a system that was overloaded and barely functioning before all the changes.

Instead of a carpentry apprentice learning all the aspects of building a home with a master carpenter they are learning only specialty things such as just framing or just installation of windows and doors. This makes it hard for them in the future to be called a master carpenter and makes them worth less to future employees as even after getting their carpentry license they require training and supervision.

By 2020 84,000 people are scheduled to retire from the construction industry in Ontario alone. In the next 10 years the industry will be under increasing pressure to train the younger generation to take over for the departed skilled trades. If corrections are not made quickly then there could be a trade crisis in the near future.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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