CaGBC Research finds gaps in low-carbon building skills in Ontario
CaGBC has published a report on the low-carbon building skills gaps of the trades in Ontario “Trading Up: Equipping Ontario Trades with the Skills of the Future”. As part of the Advisory Council OBOA’s Chief Administrative Officer, Aubrey LeBlanc consulted on CaGBC’s research initiative.
“Technical skills are immensely important, but even technically proficient trades cannot do it alone. The whole construction ecosystem needs to be trained to achieve a higher level of green literacy if zero carbon buildings are to become the industry standard. The OBOA is committed to a low-carbon future and is dedicated to excellence in professional training and learning around green building. Education for Building Officials would improve communication and collaboration with the trades on construction sites.” explains Aubrey.
This report provides insights on which technical and soft skills are necessary from the trades and the entire project team to achieve the successful construction of energy-efficient, high-performing buildings. It sets out a series of comprehensive actions for industry, non-profit organizations and government to enable the green construction workforce to construct or retrofit new and existing low-carbon buildings and to create new economic opportunities for Canadians.
- CaGBC identified several areas that require improved technical skills. However, technical skills alone will not satisfy the requirements of low-carbon buildings. We also need to increase the overall level of “green literacy” – the ability to understand the broad implications of key building activities on the environment and the market infrastructure.
- The threshold for mistakes in high-performing buildings is slim and demands a higher level of sophistication and precision for the entire project team. The trades are extremely important for achieving high-performing buildings, but they need the support of the remaining construction ecosystem to succeed.
- Changes to the larger construction approach and acknowledgment of soft skills are necessary to deliver high-performing buildings. This also means that the trades need to be involved in the design and construction process early on.
- Diverse training approaches including on-site training will play an important role as it offers the opportunity of ad-hoc training and a continuous feedback loop for the project team and can address multiple trades at the same time, crossing traditional trade roles.
Ontario has an opportunity to take on a national and international leadership role by supporting its workforce to the skills and capabilities needed to create the energy-efficient, high performing buildings. The CaGBC will work with government, industry, unions and other stakeholders to tackle the challenges of the future and the changes that will come to Ontario’s economy and workforce by climate change. Ontario needs to be ready to support its workforce to be prepared for the jobs of the future.
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