More than a third of construction workers leave the industry within five years: report
About 35 per cent of those who enter the construction industry leave it within five years, and that number is higher among women, according to a report prepared by the Commission de la construction du Québec.
The report, obtained by Action travail des femmes through an access-to-information request, shows the abandonment rate within five years to be:
- 24 per cent among workers with degrees
- 40 per cent of those without
- 62 per cent among those who worked less than 150 hours the first year
- 48 per cent among those who worked 150 to 499 hours
- 30 per cent among those who worked 500 to 999 hours
- 15 per cent among those who worked 1,000 hours or more
Lack of work and working conditions were identified as the main reasons for abandoning the industry.
Quebec recently softened rules to encourage more entry into the industry, as more infrastructure projects are planned.
“We should work on measures to retain workers, and not on attracting new workers,” said Éric Boisjoly, general manager of the FTQ-Construction union. “The workforce is there, and competent, and trained, and present in the industry, but we’re not using it to its maximum.”
Retaining workers requires improving working conditions and giving them more hours of work, the union boss said. While the pay is good, the number of work hours is insufficient and workers need better insurance and pensions.
Among women, the abandonment rate is “systematically higher than with men,” the report says. It’s 67 per cent for bricklayers, 62 per cent for carpenters, 60 per cent for roofers, and 64 per cent for interior systems installers.