Trades workers still in short supply on P.E.I.
Too many workers retiring, not enough young people entering field
There continues to be a shortage of skilled trades workers on P.E.I., with electricians, plumbers and carpenters particularly in demand, a problem many in the industry say is about to get worse.
In Canada, 250,000 people are expected to retire from skilled construction work in the next several years, according to Sam Sanderson, general manager of the Construction Association of P.E.I. He said it's urgent to get young people interested in the trades.
"We need to get youth involved, get some excitement into it for them, really show them what the trades sector and construction industry is all about," said Sanderson.
At the Summerside campus of Holland College, most trades students won't have to look far to find work once they graduate.
Kent Sheen, the program manager for Industrial Technology and Trades at the school, watched as his carpentry students were building the base of a cottage.
He said employers often seek out these students months before graduation.
"The resounding comments from all of our trades advisory groups are yup, we're having challenges, yup, we're always on the lookout for people," said Sheen.
The trades shortages will be felt by homeowners, according to industry members.
It will be increasingly difficult to find skilled tradespeople to do the work, and that lack of supply could push up prices right across the industry.