About 200 people attended the first Construction Trades Job Fair on March 30. The event was put on by the Trades Opportunity Group, a committee of the BC Building Trades.That was music to the ears of many of the tradespeople who attended the first Construction Trades Job Fair held recently in Burnaby. The event was put on by the Trades Opportunity Group, which is made up of affiliates from almost every trade in the BC Building Trades.
“Some people have already been dispatched to jobs,” said the group’s Byron Rilling of the United Association (UA) Canada.
The job fair was held at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 Hall. Close to 200 people attended the event to learn more about trades and apprenticeship: “the other four-year degree.” Recruiters and union representatives from 12 different affiliates were on hand to answer questions about training, apprenticeship, employment opportunities, salaries and benefits.
Trades contractors looking to hire people and representatives from the BC Centre for Women in the Trades were also among the exhibitors.
“We had everyone from parents with their kids trying to expose them to opportunities in the industry, to 30-year-olds and older tradespeople who were precariously working non-union and wanted to know how to make a change,” said Rilling.
B.C. is facing a major skills shortage, with about 22 per cent of the current construction workforce expected to retire by 2028. Demand for workers and the “earn while you learn” nature of apprenticeship are just two reasons the skilled trades are great career choices.