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1 HUMAN RESOURCES TOOLKIT: A GUIDE FOR PROVINCIAL HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATIONS TO MAKE REPRESENTATIONS TO THEIR RESPECTIVE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS UNDER THE NEW FEDERAL LABOUR MARKET STRATEGY Canadian Home Builders Association May 2007

2 INTRODUCTION In March 2007, the federal government presented Budget 2007 that establishes a new labour market strategy. The new strategy is based on two important principles: Provincial and territorial governments have the primary role and responsibility for the design and delivery of training programs. Provincial and territorial governments are best placed to design and deliver training programs. The Budget s objectives for the labour market strategy include the following: To make training and skills development more widely available to Canadians who need it and better aligned with the current and future needs of the economy. To help ensure integrated labour market programming that can be tailored to the specific needs of individuals and employers. To improve the quality of teaching and learning, improve institutional capacity at the undergraduate and graduate level, and provide better access to under-represented groups. The Budget commits major funding increases for post-secondary education starting in and beyond to Implementation of the Budget will involve transferring additional funds to provinces and territories, the development of labour market strategies through bi-lateral negotiations between the federal government and each province and territory, and the expenditure of those funds by provinces and territories through provincial/territorial programs. The significance of this Budget for CHBA is that provincial Home Builders Associations (HBAs) have the role of primary advocate for labour market training programs and other actions to increase the supply of skilled people in the residential construction industry. This document is intended to provide guidance to provincial HBAs on how to request and apply for funds for a variety of activities in support of increasing the supply of skilled people. PROPOSED KEY TASKS TO INCREASE THE SUPPLY OF SKILLED PEOPLE IN THE RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY Overview In 2003, CHBA commissioned a major project to develop a human resource work plan to increase the supply of skilled people in the residential construction industry. That plan had four strategic objectives. A review of those objectives in 2007 concluded that they are still applicable. Key tasks proposed in this Guide are therefore based on the same strategic objectives: To support the development and delivery of training to the occupations in the residential construction industry. To increase funding for industry training, and to increase the industry s capacity to participate in planning, decision-making and implementing training in the residential construction industry on an ongoing basis.

3 To support measures that will increase employee retention and improve job quality in the residential construction industry. To promote careers in the residential construction industry. Specific tasks by provincial HBAs will depend on their identification of priorities in their province. To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts, it is recommended that provincial HBAs should determine the availability of, and conditions for, obtaining funding support as soon as possible and focus on those opportunities. Confirmation of the Availability of, and Conditions for Obtaining Funding for Labour Market Training and Other Tasks to Increase the Supply of Skilled People in the Residential Construction Industry Bilateral negotiations between the federal government and provincial governments on labour market strategies are expected to be initiated in the near term. It is opportune for provincial HBAs to carry out the following tasks: Identify the provincial department and contacts responsible for federal-provincial negotiations and for the design and implementation of provincial labour market strategies in their province. Determine opportunities for influencing the scope and focus of the strategies being developed, and act on them. Actions could focus on the following: Advocate funding for training and other actions specifically in support of the residential construction industry because of its distinct attributes relative to other sectors of the construction industry. Advocate funding for a broad range of actions encompassed by the four strategic objectives listed above and discussed in detail below. Determine conditions and criteria for funding as negotiations continue and conclude, and develop applications for funding. Tasks in Support of Strategic Objective 1: Support the Development and Delivery of Training to the Occupations in the Residential Construction Industry The scope of this objective is broad. It is recommended that provincial HBAs focus their activities in order to advance priorities in their province. Some key suggested areas of focus and corresponding tasks are outlined below. Develop training materials. In order to implement this task, the following decisions must be made: Decisions on the types of programs and courses to focus on in terms of target audience. Some options are school-to-work courses, secondary school apprentice programs, preemployment programs and adult trade/occupational programs. Consideration of shortand long-term impacts will affect the types of courses to emphasize. 2

4 Decisions on which trades and occupations to focus on. The degree of skill shortage in specific occupations is one criterion for making decisions on focus. Information on the shortages can be obtained from a variety of sources, such as labour market information from industry surveys and consultations with CHBA members. Once the focus of action is determined, Home Builders Associations are in a position to establish relationships with training providers, such as technical institutes, and develop a plan and budget for the development of training materials. This may include occupational analyses to identify skill requirements, development of program outlines, development of course manuals and examinations. Advocate changes to the apprenticeship system to make it more accommodating of residential construction industry requirements. Problems with apprenticeship systems for the residential construction industry have been identified and include the following: Exclusion of some residential industry construction trades and occupations as apprenticeable trades and a corresponding lack of credentialing opportunities for those occupations. Lack of graduated skill recognition. Limited opportunities for apprenticeship training in residential trades for a variety of reasons. Develop protocols for recognizing prior learning. If certification authorities have a protocol to recognize prior learning, it could be used to increase the skilled labour supply. Support training delivery. This can include negotiating terms and conditions with training providers for the delivery of training programs developed to respond to provincial priorities. It can also include working with them to develop work plans and funding applications. under the new labour market strategy to make funding available to implement all of the tasks outlined above. Tasks in Support of Strategic Objective 2: Increase Funding for Industry Training, and to Increase the Industry s Capacity to Participate in Planning, Decision-making and Implementing Training in the Residential Construction Industry on an Ongoing Basis Tasks in support of this objective focus on distinct challenges for the residential construction industry: Training affordability: The intent is to obtain funding support to make training [more] affordable to trainees through public subsidies of training costs, just as they are provided for other parts of the country s education system (schools, universities and technical institutes). Support for unorganized occupations: The intent is to obtain funding to help unorganized occupations, such as framers, tapers/drywallers and stucco applicators, become organized and develop a capacity to participate in planning appropriate training. under the new labour market strategy to make funding available to address these labour market training challenges for the residential construction industry. 3

5 Tasks in Support of Strategic Objective 3: Support Measures that Will Increase Employee Retention and Improve Job Quality in the Residential Construction Industry The purpose of this objective is to increase the supply of skilled labour by focusing on measures that will retain those that work in the industry and encourage others to join the industry. The proposed approach is to carry out an information campaign focusing on two measures: Providing information on job retention strategies through job quality improvement primarily to residential construction industry employers, who are mainly sub-contractors. Providing information on the adverse consequences of participation in the underground economy, including safety, financial and legal risks, to employers, students and workers. under the new labour market strategy to make funding available to implement these job-quality improvement measures. Tasks in Support of Strategic Objective 4: Promote Careers in the Residential Construction Industry Promotional activities may have impacts in the long term. They could include improving the image of the residential construction industry, improving the image of vocational training, raising the level of awareness of the industry and increasing interest in the industry. The target audiences could be school children and schools, and also groups not well represented in the residential construction industry. The focus of the promotions could include career pathways and laddering opportunities. Promotional programs should be designed to respond to the values of today s youth to be effective. One strategic consideration is not to promote careers unless training opportunities exist to avoid frustrating people who respond to promotions and are then unable to act on their interest because of a lack of training programs. under the new labour market strategy to make funding available to carry out promotional activities. 4

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