The new Construction Career Pathways program launched by BuildForce Canada aims to connect employers with workers to fill entry level positions and, at the same time, exposes jobseekers to explore the construction industry.
“This program is really intended to give young people and anyone that has never worked in the construction sector their first opportunity in the sector. Certainly, our hope is that they will then stay and pursue a career in the construction sector,” explained Bill Ferreira, executive director of BuildForce Canada.
“The long-term benefit is we’re trying to create new pathways for individuals that historically have been underrepresented in the construction industry to connect with employers and vice-versa – new pathways for employers to be able to broaden out beyond traditional recruitment channels to other organizations that can be of some assistance.
“Obviously, the end goal here is to try and increase the number of people working in the construction industry to help address some of the current challenges and future challenges that we anticipate are coming related to the changing demographics of the country.”
The program consists of 16-week, paid, entry-level work placements on construction sites across Canada. No prior industry experience is needed for workers and employers can take advantage of financial incentives, Ferreira said.
“It’s really to help offset the cost that employers take on by bringing somebody into the industry that has never worked in the industry,” he pointed out.
The program is geared towards small- and medium-sized companies. A wage subsidy of $150 a week up to $2,400 per employee is available to businesses that complete their 16-week work placements, with funding provided by the Government of Canada.
Placements are available for up to 1,000 workers, with 50 per cent of the program intake allocated to people from traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, members of Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities, people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada and those who identify as LGBTQ2+; people from equity-deserving groups who want to work in construction; young people seeking work experience; and individuals looking for employment or looking to change careers.
Those who are interested can apply online.
“They can go online, register, provide a description of the position that they are looking to fill…and then we will match them with individuals looking to begin a career in the construction sector,” Ferreira noted. “This is not for Red Seal positions. This is really just for entry-level positions in the construction sector. This is a program that does not overlap with the Canadian Apprenticeship Service.”
The hope, said Ferreira, is that following the 16-week placement, the individuals continue to work with that employer and see what careers are available to them.
“It’s often that obstacle, how do I get into the industry? How do I persuade an employer to take me on when I have no experience? That’s really the purpose of this, is to try and provide the employer with that little incentive to hopefully look beyond trying to find the perfect individual that has a lot of experience already,” Ferreira said.
For more information visit Construction Career Pathways (ccp-pcc.ca)