By Blake Marchand, Managing Editor, Electrical Industry News Week
The federal and provincial governments and industry organizations have been investing money and putting in work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the construction industry, although more is needed to fully establish the trades as a viable career path for women as well as other equity deserving groups that are under-represented.
Electrical in particular is hitting a point where there is growing demand for good workers, which could lead to a labour shortage if we are unable to grow the trade as people retire and demand for labour increases.
Helping to get more workers into the industry is vital. In a recent survey commissioned by Procore, 92 per cent of Canadians agreed there is an urgent need to build more or update current infrastructure in Canada over the next two years.
We spoke to Reva Bond, Dean for SAIT’s School of Construction about women in trades, the apprenticeship model, meeting labour demand, and the importance of collaboration between industry stakeholders. Speaking about the trades in general, a key issue for Bond is retention. There is work that needs to be done by industry to make the industry more welcoming and accommodating for women, which Bond notes, will also improve the overall atmosphere. Providing an equitable, progressive workplace will ultimately become a key to growth for companies in the industry as the competition for talent becomes more intense.
The trades present a great opportunity, and the demand is there to grow into a more diverse workforce. As Bond explains in our interview, the industry needs to do more to make the trades a more inclusive environment, which will ultimately create a better working environment for everyone.
Keep reading the interview here.