BC’s construction workforce is stretched thin and it’s about to get worse. The reality is that there simply aren’t enough apprentices to keep up with major projects over the next few years.
So, when a labour group keeps quibbling over who is training the greatest number of apprentices [Skilled trades shortage looming, April 5 Letters, Langley Advance Times], it strikes me as the wrong way to go about addressing a serious challenge.
Meeting B.C.’s skilled trades shortage is not a contest. It will take a collective effort involving government, educators, all labour groups, and all industry members to find the solution.
The B.C. gov’t should be doing its part too. That starts by scrapping its restrictive rules that drive up public infrastructure costs and ultimately result in fewer trained apprentices.
There is a way to address B.C.’s skilled trades shortage. In the interests of the next generation of skilled construction workers, let’s put aside the politicking and hyperbole and work together to resolve this critical issue.
Paul de Jong, President, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada