June 27, 2009
British Columbia Construction Association program a STEP in the right direction
The B.C. Construction Association (BCCA) has developed a program to help an underutilized segment of the workforce get jobs in the construction industry.
“We are trying to enable Aboriginal people to get a job in construction, while helping construction companies with labour shortages,” said Randy Garon, project manager of the Aboriginal Skilled Trades Employment Program (ASTEP).
It was established more than a year ago to focus on the placement of Aboriginal workers in the construction industry on Vancouver Island and in northern B.C.
“We are looking for people who are employable and can go directly into work,” explained Garon.
“We can also help by directing people to other services, if they have barriers to going directly into work. Once ready for employment, we strive to find an employer that requires staff for placement.”
The program is designed to fill the gap between the size of the Aboriginal population and the number of Aboriginal people actively involved in the labour force.
Garon said the program is part of a larger initiative by the BCCA to address forecasted skilled trade shortages for BCCA members and the B.C. construction industry.
Similarly structured BCCA programs focus on immigrants, women, youth and older people.
“Basically, we do assessments and take individuals to the jobsite,” said Joe Thorne, who is a trades employment specialist with ASTEP and is responsible for all of Vancouver Island.
“I stick around with them through their orientation and check in with them periodically. I stick with them until they are comfortable on their own.”
The trades employment specialist is a certified trades person, who identifies skill levels and recommends the proper employment path for each individual.
According to Thorne, people who have lived and worked on the reserve may have to adjust to a placement in the construction industry.
They often need to improve their money and time management skills, as well as get used to working within a different group dynamic.
“I help people learn about each other’s culture and fill in the gaps by acting as a mediator,” said Thorne.
“I facilitate or find solutions to any problems that arise.”
The program increases employment opportunities for Aboriginal workers in the construction trades, by developing partnerships between industry, Aboriginal governance groups, tribal councils and elder groups.
“I enjoy the challenge of meeting with contractors and seeing their attitudes change,” said Thorne.
“I work with the majority of bands on Vancouver Island. I enjoy seeing people get an opportunity and make it. They can then become the role model for the next person.”
The trades employment specialist builds relationships with potential employers to connect them with new employees.
Once the connection has been made, they continue to work as a liaison between the employer and the employee.
It assures a successful match and can address any potential issues along the way.
“One of the advantages we have of course is representing the demand side of the equation, or representing the employer side of the industry,” said Garon.
“One of the actions we have taken is to try to create some sustainable employment by working with the individuals and relocating them to another project once they are done at the project they were placed on.”
He said sometimes this means the contractor will take them to their next project and sometimes it means transferring them to another contractor doing similar work on another project.
Since the ASTEP began on April 1, 2008, about 250 individuals have entered the program and it has placed about 160 workers into the construction industry.
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 316 projects with a total value of $2,787,806,637 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Friday.
$1,000,000,000 Edmonton AB Prebid
$220,000,000 Medicine Hat AB Negotiated
$50,000,000 Calgary AB Prebid
- Construction Site Arson
- Journal of Commerce Update for the week of May 20th, 2013
- Industry reacts to surprise B.C. Liberal majority
- Calgary Airport Tunnel
- Worker at centre of union sign up allegations speaks out
- Calgary program aims to get more people into the trades
- Midrise in the City
- Veterans battle barriers into the trades
- Government makes changes to online tendering
- SNC-Lavalin maintains that new bribery allegations have been resolved
- B.C. faces a tough battle for top talent
- Keyano College building state of the art training facility
- Essential skills can play a vital role in an apprentices' success
- Taking a closer look at the risks in green building for contractors
- Colleges conduct construction research in addition to teaching
- Skills Canada BC Competition
- Lower Mainland high school trades program is unique
- Construction Learning Forum aims to educate
- High schools looking for more industry participation
- Industrial construction supervisor program takes off
- Saskatchewan bill passed
- Edmonton garners support for regional cash for arena
- Feds pledge $5 million for Vimy memorial
- VIDEO: Economic Update May 21, 2013
- VIDEO: Competing in the trades
- Multi-employer approach needed in apprenticeships
- New Perspective
- ACEC’s input helps develop global engineering guidelines
- Clerk of works position gives peace of mind on projects
- World Trade Center developer’s plan for a 926-foot tower moving ahead
- Call for action after MOL says workers are responsible for their own safety
- Cold spring and weak construction hurt Deere’s 2013 predictions
- CanBIM reschedule June session
- More green roofs top Toronto buildings
- Witness recants testimony in Montreal corruption case
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)