The construction industry in Canada is varied and large – wherever there is economic growth in the country, construction is sure to follow. Construction involves many different types of structures as well as varied general contractors to complete specialized tasks. This includes the electrician, plumber, and the heating and roofing experts.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2013, the construction industry in Canada accounted for 7.3% of the GDP. This increased from November 2013 to November 2014 at a modest 1.1%.The general construction industry however continues to experience several challenges that call for new approaches.
Shortage of Skilled Workers
Among the biggest challenges for companies in the Canadian construction industry and electrical contractors is a shortage in skilled trades people such as the professional electrician. This potentially poses great challenges when construction companies and electrical contractors are preparing their bids for large scale projects. This makes it important for such companies to be creative when putting together their hiring plan prior to the bidding process.
In recent years, Canada has implemented several programs designed to address the construction sector skills gap. Government sponsored programs like Step BC, the Apprentice Job match recently launched in British Columbia, are working towards the training of future skilled trades people. Such programs aim to offer a much needed link between business owners such as electrical contractors and potential employees.
Energy Sustainability and Efficiency
Energy efficiency and sustainability concerns remain a top trend, with rising interest in green building techniques. This opens up great opportunities for construction businesses and electrical contractors to adopt new approaches designed to meet new client expectations and desires.
In responding to these unique and emerging challenges, industry leaders in the construction field can research new building materials and also explore alternative LEED certification requirements using informative publications.
Related closely to sustainable building is the rising shift towards home automation and smart technology. A Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) survey recently found that 87% of respondents want home automation technology installed in their new construction projects.
Opportunity is certainly great as this demand is bound to rise even more in the coming years. This can however also be a learning curve for many electrician services contractors who might not be very familiar with emerging unique considerations required in the new technology installation process.
From the mid-90s up to the recession of 2008-2009, the number of electricians saw a sharp rise but thereafter only witnessed slight increases. These variations match closely the changes seen in the construction industry employment numbers.
Data from the National Household Survey, estimates that in 2011 about 88% of all Canadian electricians were working in the construction sector. Considering the positive trends being seen in the construction industry, the number of electrical technicians working in this sector should see slight increases over the coming years.