Durham Region Construction Sector

In 2012, the Durham Workforce Authority (DWA) in partnership with tradeability.ca through Millier Dickinson Blais delivered Labour Market Development Strategies for Durham’s Construction Sector. This sector study seeks to develop a strategic direction for actions supporting labour force demands to position the sector to respond to opportunities and prepare for challenges.

This report examines in detail the construction sector which has been specifically defined as the construction of buildings, heavy and civil engineering and specialty trade contractors. In addition to direct construction industries, the report also examines related support industries in Durham Region defined as oil and gas extraction; utilities; rail transportation; pipeline transportation; telecommunications; credit intermediation and related activitiesreal estate; and professional, scientific and technical services.

The construction sector study was completed through in person key informant interviews with 16 industry stakeholders, completion of an online survey and analysis of demographic and labour market data. This report examines common occupations in the construction sector as well as the support industries by educational attainment levels, employment and skill requirements and gender and age characteristics. Further, the size of the business community for the core construction sector and support industries is also evaluated.

Key findings in this report include:

  • The Construction Sector Council of Canada (CSC) predicts that all construction industries, residential and non-residential, will be in growth mode post-2014
  • In 2006, there were an estimated 23,085 jobs in the core construction and support industries in Durham Region
  • Of the 4,469 core construction businesses in Durham Region as of June 2011, 66% were specialty trade contractors
  • Over 7,500 businesses are engaged in support industries in Durham Region with 62% of the total classified under professional, scientific and technical services

Through key informant interviews, the online survey and data analysis the following exemplify some of the challenges facing the construction sector and its supporting industries:

  • Existing policies related to the employer to apprentice ratio
  • Limited funding grants
  • Labour market demographics
  • Large number of small to medium sized companies (SME’s) in Durham Region
  • Education attainment levels

This sector study defines key themes in the core construction sector and supporting industries, and develops labour market development strategies and associated recommended actions to ensure the sustainability and success of the core construction and supporting industries. The three labour market development strategies include:

  • Support the sector to increase its economic value and strengths
  • Promote appropriate training and learning opportunities that best position labour force groups to achieve successful employment within the sector
  • Promote the construction sector as a viable and exciting option with a multitude of employment streams

The labour market development strategies and associated recommended actions require a commitment from the DWA and tradeability.ca as well as partner construction sector organizations, government, educational institutions and the business community. Through partnerships, Durham Region will be able to best serve the needs of the core construction and supporting industries to ensure their continued success and sustainability on a local level.

Construction Report 2012