Employment in the construction industry in Canada has risen 80% in the last 15 years, even maintaining steady growth during the recent economic decline. According to a 2013 BuildForce Canada report, there is expected to be around 250,000 new jobs in the sector over the next several years. Around 2100,000 of those opportunities will be for skilled tradespeople to replace retiring workers.
Despite these tremendous opportunities, there is currently nowhere near enough young people training for careers in construction, and employers find skilled trade vacancies among the hardest to fill. “It’s one of the baffling shortages of skills, since they’re well-paid, flexible positions,” said Manpower’s Jonas Prising in 2010. “You can have gainful employment for a long time. This isn’t work that will be outsourced or disappear. It’s locally based work with geographically transferable skills.”
So how can a construction training program help you make the most of the future opportunities in the industry? Read on to find out.
Today’s Construction Apprenticeships Require Math & English Skills
While there is still a misconception among many that construction jobs require little formal education, industry insiders are keen to emphasize the need for those entering the workforce to have good math and English skills. According to Greg White, chair of trades and apprenticeships at Conestoga College, “The reality of it is, to get involved in any construction field … you would need at least a Grade 12 education, including math and English.”
All pre-apprenticeship construction training courses, like those offered at the PAT institute, provide communication skills training, as well as basic mathematics training with a practical emphasis, so students learn how their math skills will be applied in their day-to-day work. For example, construction professionals will likely be required to read blueprints and measure material quantities.
Construction School Students Learn Estimating Skills
Many construction school courses, such as the construction office manager and construction electrical estimator program, include estimation courses. Construction estimators analyze costs and prepare estimates on projects. According to service Canada, with the “growing emphasis on planning and monitoring in construction operations, the number of construction estimators should increase significantly in the next few years.” Because of this, the specialized training students receive in things like cost-carrying programs, material price lists, and estimating from blueprints could be invaluable to their future careers.
Students Learn Safety Regulations and Practices in Construction Training
Another increasingly important aspect of today’s construction industry is safety. The potential hazards of construction sites, such as falling objects and dangerous machinery, means that accidents are always a concern.
Increased regulations mean that employers are now more concerned than ever that new hires have proper occupational health and safety training, which is provided in all construction school courses. As Greg White says, “The key is to make sure you get home every night with all the appendages that you left with in the morning, and I think an education can really ensure that that happens.”
Construction School Courses Train Students in Building and Electrical Codes
Whether you’re looking to work as a construction craft worker, a construction office manager, or a maintenance electrician, you will need to be aware of the rules and regulations governing construction jobs.
In a pre-apprenticeship program, construction students receive comprehensive training in building codes, while construction and maintenance electrician students are taken through the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). Being familiar with these regulations will dramatically increase your chances of being taken on for a construction apprenticeship.
Want to find out more about the skills you’ll learn in construction training programs?
Visit the PAT and check out our courses!