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P.E.I. construction industry facing shortage of workers despite record employment

Some builders and contractors in the home construction industry in this province are asking the government to fully adopt and enforce the National Building Code of Canada.
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P.E.I.’s construction sector is facing a shortage in workers despite a record number of people now employed in the industry, says the Construction Association of P.E.I.
The association is now looking at new approaches to attract workers through its “Island Builder” campaign which launched this past winter.
The ramped-up recruitment efforts have come at a time when employment levels in the industry are at a high, with Statistics Canada’s labour force survey showing an increase of 400 workers in the sector from June 2017 to June 2018.
However, there are still shortages, said association president Steve Jackson.
“The growth of construction activity on the Island continues to create added demand for skilled workers that are hard to come by,” said Jackson. “We have a record number of people working in the Island’s construction sector and we still face shortfalls.”
Recruitment efforts have included adding an online employment portal for the construction sector and advertising during the peak summer period in the hopes of getting the attention of Islanders who may be working elsewhere but are vacationing in their home province.
“The Island economy is changing. We have to get people in the construction trades to recognize that the opportunities here on the Island are not seasonal, but year-round,” said Jackson.
The industry is also advertising at the Charlottetown Airport with a sign that says “Build Here-Live Here” in hopes of attracting new workers to move to P.E.I. as well as convincing former Islanders to return.
Jackson said the industry also hopes to use the growing number of construction sites on the Island as an advertising opportunity by placing signage at the sites to draw attention to potential workers about the job opportunities on P.E.I.

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