We know that the construction industry is a clear contributor to our local, provincial and national economies. However, external forces such as changing societal demands and expectations (particularly around climate change), the increasingly globalized, competitive market and business environment, labour market challenges and advances in knowledge and technology are creating new pressures for construction companies to innovate. An innovative workforce is built on a sustained investment in education.

In that context, VRCA applied for funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC) in 2017 to engage a consultant to conduct a construction industry education needs assessment study to define an optimal suite of educational offerings, structures and delivery formats that will encourage and enable BC’s construction industry to take on the new challenges afforded by the new policies, products and practices that are entering the marketplace.

VRCA was privileged to be awarded grant funds from REFBC in the spring on 2018. At that point, VRCA posted a request for proposal for consultants or firms to respond to with their methodology to undertake the study. RDH Building Science won the contract and they set about designing a study that would assess the current and future landscape of construction industry education.

At the end of the study, RDH prepared a report that identified the top unmet education themes in the fall of 2018. The top themes were:

  • people management;
  • business management;
  • lean construction;
  • green building standards; and
  • building information modelling for project managers.

So far, VRCA has added 13 new courses that begin to address these outstanding areas. New courses already added to the curriculum are:

Planning For Foremen
Lean Project Delivery Bootcamp
Love Them or Lose Them: Employee Retention
Future-Proof Your Workforce: Succession Planning
Microsoft Project for Construction
Lead to Succeed: Leadership Skills for Foremen
LEED: Material Training
LEED: Indoor Air Quality Management and Erosion & Sediment Control
From LEED to Living Buildings – An Overview of Green Building Rating Systems
Think Outside the Site: Making Prefabrication Work for Your Project
Responding Successfully to an RFP
Close Out a Construction Project
Email Etiquette

With more to come!

If it wasn’t for the generous support of the REFBC, VRCA would not be able to bring these in-demand courses to the local market.

RDH has also authored a public report on the current status of education at the moment. You can view it here.

If you have any questions about the study, please email Education Manager, Andrea Ringrose at [email protected].