Letter — Trades offer great pay and bright future

The Editor,

Wanted: Skilled tradespeople. Must enjoy great wages, rewarding work, and a bright future.

As employment ads go, does this sound too good to be true? It’s actually not.

April is Construction and Skilled Trades Month in B.C., which is a perfect time to raise awareness about the opportunities in the skilled trades.

In 2017, the B.C. construction industry had 8,395 job vacancies, representing a 20 percent increase over the previous year, and 25 per cent of Canada’s overall construction industry job vacancies. In fact, trades jobs are expected to comprise 11 percent of all job openings in B.C. in the next decade. That’s more than 100,000 jobs!

The skilled trades are well paid, in demand and portable, with significant opportunities for advancement.

And it gets even better because over the next three years, this province will invest $15.8 billion in taxpayer-funded infrastructure throughout B.C., supporting thousands of jobs during construction. These projects have the potential to set the bar high in terms of benefits to the communities they serve.

This isn’t a new concept. Community Benefits Agreements — formal agreements between governments and contractors — have been used with success throughout North America for more than two decades. Both union and non-union contractors can — and do — build public projects with community benefits. These agreements can ensure that workers are paid fairly, and that opportunities exist for qualified local workers, apprentices, women in trades and Indigenous workers.

Community Benefits Agreements can literally change the economic landscape for the better by gifting communities with a legacy of skills, training, employability and local investment.

So Construction and Skilled Trades Month isn’t just about the 200,000 workers employed in the construction sector. It’s about all of us who use and pay for the bridges, roads, dams, and structures that these workers have built.

Public infrastructure projects should provide community benefits that are wide and deep. It’s as simple and as necessary as that.

Tom Sigurdson, executive director, B.C. Building Trades

Just Posted

Great kids doing great things for Houston

Members of the Houston Minor Hockey and the Houston Ringette canvassed the… Continue reading

Owners of mining project south of Houston allowed to drill again

New Nadina’s free miners certificate had been suspended in September

Council seeks to replace By-Mac Park’s boat launch

The boat launch is currently unusable; district has received several complaints

Houston residents raise concerns over “dangerous” street corner

“Pedestrians casually cross the road on blind corners,” says local resident

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Most Read