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VRCA undertakes industry education needs assessment

Chrissie O'Brien
VRCA undertakes industry education needs assessment

The Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) has retained RDH Building Science to conduct a construction industry education needs assessment.

VRCA president Fiona Famulak explained this type of study is important to the construction industry to establish an understanding of the new challenges that are being impacted through new policies, products and practices entering the market.

“We want to ensure we understand current and future learning needs so that our current membership evolves at the same time as technology,” Famulak said.

RDH created a survey for industry members, which was released in July.

The VRCA will use the data collected to identify new courses to add to its education program by the fall. Famulak explained they have identified preferred delivery options for future programming and are creating an optimal suite of learning formats.

“We are looking at classroom, demos onsite and technology options for program delivery,” she said.

Famulak advised the VRCA’s intent is to be progressive in the analysis of industry best practices, using key milestones.

“2027 is when we’re predicted to be living in a skilled labour shortage. By 2030 the city of Vancouver will require all buildings to be built to a zero-emission standard, and by 2045 we expect to welcome over a million people to the Greater Vancouver area,” she said.

These milestones will determine how education programs will be developed, she added.

The focus of programs may include subjects such as collaboration, education on how to build to a zero-emission standard and understanding Lean construction.

“We want to foster a culture of world class continuous learning across the industry,” she said.

While the study will be directed to B.C.’s architecture, engineering and construction sector, the VRCA stated it will serve the owner/developer part of the industry as well.

“Because the supply chain really starts with the owner,” Famulak said, “there is no one immune to education and continuous learning. This report will serve the industry partners and that’s what we mean by industry wide.”

Completion of the study is expected late summer, with recommendations to be released in September.

Famulak said because the study has been funded through a grant from the Real Estate Foundation of BC to hire RDH, the report will be available for public consumption.

The VRCA will share the findings of the study with other regional construction associations in B.C. and will reach over 2,000 construction companies across the province, it stated.

“We will work with industry and non-industry partners in the Lower Mainland to ensure we are not duplicating efforts, to ensure that the industry is choosing the education that they need quickly and efficiently,” she explained.

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