December 9, 2023

Building Tomorrow – Collaboration Strategies for a Skilled Future in Construction

On November 29th at The Buildings Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, a panel of experts engaged in a thought-provoking dialogue moderated by Lilit Simonyan, Manager of Career Launcher Apprenticeships. The panelists discussed challenges in the construction sector and proposed practical solutions, emphasizing the important collaboration between education, industry, and government in shaping a skilled and diverse workforce.

Manny Neves, the host of The Construction Life podcast, shared insights drawn from over 500 interviews to highlight the crucial role of mentorship in retaining apprentices and cultivating a dedicated and skilled workforce. Keaton Ambrose, a representative from Chandos Construction, introduced the concept of employee ownership to foster engagement. He highlighted the importance of investing in individuals, creating a culture that not only values its workforce but also empowers them to contribute to the company’s success.

Candace Miller, the Executive Director of Business Development at Fanshawe College, discussed the significant role post-secondary institutions play in meeting labour shortages. She called for stronger links between education and industry to ensure graduates are job-ready. Danielle Palombi, representing Magna School for Skilled Trades, advocated for initiatives to encourage more women to pursue careers in trades. Palombi highlighted the importance of flexible programming, targeted outreach, and mental health supports to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

Aaron Boland, owner of Expert Plumbing & Drains Inc., addressed the challenges of attracting and retaining diverse apprentices. He emphasized in-house education and dispelling stereotypes as key strategies. Additionally, Manny Neves and Aaron Bolad discussed the positive impact of government-funded programs on training and hiring.

In conclusion, the panelists provided valuable insights into the construction industry’s future and highlighted a collective goal: to cultivate a skilled and diverse workforce. This requires a unified approach across sectors that supports mentorship, investment in people, bridging education and industry gaps, and challenging stereotypes.

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