BC Construction Association (BCCA) has released a new industry survey for Construction Month 2021 that identifies top concerns and a more diverse workforce.
Over the course of this pandemic year the top issues of concern to construction contractors shifted somewhat, although availability of skilled workforce remains the number one challenge regardless of labour affiliation. The chronic lack of prompt payment jumped from third to second place and worries about safety took the number three spot this year despite not being in the top five in past years. COVID-19 bumped out small business taxes from the number four spot, and public sector procurement practices remained at number five in the list of top concerns.
The BCCA survey results also show an increasingly diverse workforce, where workers’ overall satisfaction rose 118 per cent from the prior year. Part of that increase can be attributed to financial health, with 18 per cent of workers reporting improvements year over year.
Women are showing increasing gains in this traditionally male industry, with 65 per cent of female respondents reporting an increase in income and 53 per cent reporting that they changed jobs for more pay over the past year. Women are more likely to have trade credentials and reported a higher overall satisfaction with the industry, resulting in women being 130 per cent more likely to recommend the construction industry as a career path than men.
Part of this positivity is coming from an improved culture overall, with 83 per cent of employers reporting they have a policy in place that addresses the need for fair and equal treatment of all workers, compared to 60 per cent in 2017.
Despite the pandemic, 35 per cent of employers reported an increase in the size of their workforce, which is less of a gain than prior years but still significant. More than half of employer respondents say they’re offering more hours this year, and 90 per cent are paying overtime wages.
“Our industry has been through a lot this past year, but amidst the challenges we can see that our workforce is getting more diverse, which will help our skilled labour shortage” says Chris Atchison, BCCA president. “The BC Budget 2021 has raised concerns for our contractors, who were anticipating more fulsome investments in infrastructure to offset extraordinary cost increases, and we continue to highlight the urgency of prompt payment legislation to alleviate the burden of late payments on competed work.”
For key findings and more details from the latest BCCA Construction Industry Survey go to www.bccassn.com/stats.