TORONTO – The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) has released Building Pathways and Pipelines into ICI Construction, a report outlining solutions to address labour shortages amongst project managers and site supervisors in the ICI construction industry.
Across Ontario, the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) construction sectors’ productivity and competitiveness is laden with labour shortages. General contractors (GCs) have repeatedly identified a sector-wide workforce shortage of skilled candidates for these leadership roles critical to operational success and productivity.
Between August and October of 2021, the OGCA convened a participatory research, consultation, and co-design process to develop an industry-validated action plan that addresses the sector-wide shortage of Project Managers and Site Supervisors. The approach took two phases: the first phase was participatory research to understand better the shortage and its impacts on general contractors; the second phase was the creation of the Workforce Action Group, an 11-member consultation group of OGCA members of differing sizes and union affiliations.
“Our members have highlighted the need to create a pathway into these long-term, well-paying construction careers,” said Giovanni Cautillo, President of the OGCA. “This report outlines steps we, as an industry, can take to access the untapped talent of under-represented groups such as women, youth and indigenous communities while developing pathways for existing employees to grow into these in-demand leadership roles. We also wanted to focus on removing barriers facing those potentially interested in pursuing a career as a project manager or site supervisor.”
The report culminates in six (6) potential solutions to the PM and Site Supervisor workforce shortage. The solutions fall into three categories: solutions focused on bringing new entrants into the workforce as junior project managers, solutions to ease the burden on upskilling current workers into PMs and site supervisors, and solutions to reduce barriers for existing site supervisors.
For the next step of this process in 2022, the OGCA will prioritize seeking resources to pilot some or all of the solutions for their members.