Wanted: Construction bosses for B.C. projects
VANCOUVER - An electrical foreman freezing his heels in Ontario probably couldn't pick a better time to look for work in British Columbia, according to a new Vancouver Regional Construction Association report.
Some 100 per cent of mechanical and electrical contracting firms polled for the VRCA report said they planned to hire foremen or assistant superintendents in the coming year.
And in the previous year, people in those jobs saw their wages rise 10 per cent, which can range from $50,000 per year on jobs under $10 million to almost $90,000 on a project worth more than $40 million.
VRCA president Keith Sashaw said his association commissioned its first-ever compensation survey to help give its members some official baseline information on what the going rates are for salaries and benefits as companies try to recruit in the hot construction market.
"When we talk about the skills shortage, everybody talks about the guys with the hammers," Sashaw said.
"But there is an equal shortage on the managerial level in mid-management and upper management."
And while industry members have been tracking an anecdotal notion of where the skilled shortages are and what kinds of pay and benefits will draw new employees, Sashaw said the survey, conducted by Hays Construction & Property, a division of the firm Hays Specialist Recruitment, gives the industry its first official picture of what its management needs are.
For instance, the survey found that besides electrical and mechanical foremen, assistant superintendents and foremen in general contracting are also in high demand with 90 per cent of firms reporting that they plan to recruit for those jobs.
Other highly desired individuals identified by the survey were project managers and project coordinators in general contracting. Some 80 per cent of firms surveyed said they planned to recruit for those jobs in the coming year.
However, the companies surveyed don't anticipate the need to recruit for their very top jobs.
Sashaw added that the information is an important tool for companies trying to recruit new employees from other provinces or abroad.
"This [survey] provides hard information for those companies that are going to be looking around the world," he added.
Sashaw said about 100 of some 650 VRCA members participated in the survey.
However, since VRCA's membership includes many firms that work peripherally in the industry, the response rate probably represents 20 per cent of firms involved directly in construction.