The demand for skilled tradespeople is greatly surpassing the number of Canadians who are choosing trades as a career path. Skilled trades are the hardest jobs to fill in Canada, according to a 2018 study by ManpowerGroup.
A shortage of skilled tradespeople can have a significant effect on the industries – construction and manufacturing among them – that heavily rely on these unique, valuable talents. Delays in project timelines become commonplace and can lead to builders and clients incurring cost overruns if tradespeople are not available due to high demands on their time.
For students graduating from high school or those looking for a change in careers, there is a long list of reasons to contemplate a skilled trade, including provincial and federal grants for apprenticeship programs, the ability to ‘earn while you learn’, and the opportunity for a long-term, stable, and rewarding career.
Skilled Trades and Modular Construction
One of the growing industries that is regularly looking for skilled tradespeople is modular construction. Different from site-built construction, modular projects are manufactured in multiple sections in an off-site, temperature-controlled facility. The modules are then transported to their intended site, set on the foundation footprint by crane, and joined together to make one integrated building.
Because of the unique construction environment, modular building provides several benefits to tradespeople over site-built construction, in addition to reducing overall project timelines.
- Perfect Weather – If you could trade (no pun intended) the possibility of working in rain, snow, or cool temperatures for a guarantee of working where it’s always sunny and 20+ degrees, would you? Indoor, temperature-controlled facilities help produce high-quality buildings, but they also provide a consistent work environment for tradespeople. This can be particularly valuable for those who are later in their career and wanting to avoid the toll that work in bad weather can take on a person’s body.
- Stable Work – Several modular construction companies, including Horizon North, hire tradespeople in full-time manufacturing positions, as opposed to contract work that is common in site-built construction. Rather than going where the work is, the work is brought to you. Full-time employment and the tangible and intangible benefits it provides can be attractive to those just starting in the trades because it establishes a consistent base of income.
- Safety – Construction is historically one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. With best practices taken from other manufacturing industries, modular construction allows for enhanced safety measures to protect workers. The controlled indoor environment assists with common causes of injuries through technology (e.g. built-in fall arrest equipment to address working at heights), training and established protocols, including the need for proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be worn in all areas of the operation. It is simply a safer way to build.
There are many great reasons to choose to work in the trades and many reasons to choose modular construction as the right industry to grow your career. Beyond all of the reasons addressed above, perhaps the single most rewarding aspect of a career in the trades is the daily satisfaction you receive in helping individuals and groups solve their problems with your unique skills.
To learn about careers in the skilled trades at Horizon North, please visit horizonnorth.ca/careers.