In the past year, the construction industry has experienced increased demand, high prices, and material and labour shortages.
With the new year just around the corner, we take a look at three critical factors for those in the trades industry for the year ahead.
Here are our predictions for the industry in 2023.
The cost of materials will continue to rise
Materials shortages and rising costs were two of the biggest challenges in 2022. The materials for some jobs were not available, resulting in some tradespeople turning down jobs.
There is no sign that prices will slow down in 2023, as inflation hits record levels and global energy crises make production more expensive. It requires more energy to produce some materials, including steel, concrete, cement, and bricks. Due to this, their price is predicted to rise faster than those of other materials.
In spite of some shortages – lumber prices, for instance, were a big story right at the beginning of the pandemic – new ones have emerged. Steel, machinery, glass, and electrical fixtures are just a few of the challenging and expensive supplies to source. The rising cost of fuel, used to transport materials to a job site, adds to the financial pressure on contractors.
Labor shortages continue
In addition to the aging population, there are not enough people entering the workforce to make up for the shortfall in people. Construction isn’t the only sector affected; virtually every sector is impacted.
In the short term, there is no solution, but increasing immigration and implementing new technologies can help.
Today, one in three journeypersons is over 55, so we need the next generation to fill those jobs.
More government programs supporting trades are being funded
Four hundred twenty students will be enrolled in early childhood education career pathways over the next two years as the government expands the dual credit program. With Ontario’s plan to make things more affordable and accessible, qualified workers will be able to enter the field with ease.
The expansion of the dual credit program is part of ensuring students have exposure to learning opportunities available in skilled trades.
Learn more about how Ontario is preparing more students for skilled trades careers here: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1002510/ontario-preparing-more-students-for-careers-in-the-skilled-trades
The year 2022 was a mixed bag for the Canadian construction industry, but we’re hoping that 2023 will bring some stable growth and movement to ensure Ontario’s goals of filling the labour shortage are one step closer to being reached.