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NTCCC: Federal construction secretariat needs to be developed

DCN-JOC News Services
NTCCC: Federal construction secretariat needs to be developed

OTTAWA — The National Trade Contractors Council of Canada (NTCCC) recently made a pre-budget submission to federal Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland calling for the formation of a federal construction secretariat or department.

This would be a dedicated entity to address ICI construction-specific issues, providing focused attention and resources.

The creation of a joint inter-departmental and industry advisory group could include representatives from relevant federal departments, industry stakeholders and provincial/municipal representation to examine ongoing infrastructure investment needs and plan for the expansion of labour and market capacity.

This advisory group would present a short- to medium-term solution to address infrastructure investments. The NTCCC suggested conducting a comprehensive survey in collaboration with industry stakeholders to identify the labour needs for Canada’s construction industry.

The council also asked the federal government to launch a construction-industry specific Immigration pilot project that would addresses the unique needs of the construction industry, allowing for targeted immigration and sponsorship by industry stakeholders.

In order to recruit and retain skilled trade workers, the government should make it easier for newcomers to move through the workforce with flexibility. Expanding sponsorship opportunities to larger industry groups, in addition to individual employers, will provide newcomers with increased opportunities to gain experience in their relevant field. These industry groups could include unions, employer groups or regional trades committees.

Current immigration timelines within existing programs, such as the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, must also be examined in order to reduce delays between the selection of an applicant and their approval.

The federal government should increase investments in provincial training institutions and colleges that handle assessment, upgrading and certification of foreign workers.

The NTCCC also “strongly encouraged” the federal government to implement policies that ensure Canadian trade contracting firms are prioritized on projects where public funding is involved.

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