The Province of B.C. and the BC Construction Association (BCCA) marked International Women’s Day on March 8 with the launch of the Builders Code, a comprehensive program that aims to address B.C.’s skilled labour shortage by reducing harassment, bullying and hazing on construction worksites.

The Builders Code defines an acceptable worksite and provides employers with tools, training and resources to improve and promote safe and productive worksite behavior.

The Builders Code expands the definition of construction safety beyond physical hazards to include stress or distraction caused by discrimination, bullying, hazing or harassment. A Builders Code worksite will seek to be free from behaviour that threatens the stability of work conditions including job performance, health, well-being, safety, productivity and the efficiency of workers.

Led by BCCA, in collaboration with the Province and industry partners, which includes the four regional construction associations (VRCA, VICA, SICA and NRCA), the Builders Code includes an ambitious “10×10” goal to have B.C.’s skilled workforce comprised of 10 per cent tradeswomen by 2028, a standard not yet achieved by any province in Canada.

The Builders Code will be a valuable opportunity and asset for contractors looking for competitive ways to attract and retain skilled tradespeople at a time when B.C. faces a skills shortage of 7,900 workers, and when tradeswomen comprise only 4.7 per cent of the skilled workforce. Although women, youth and other equity-seeking groups are entering construction trades at a higher rate than in the past, retention rates remain low. First year retention rates for women apprentices have anecdotally been estimated at less than 50 per cent. By comparison, first year retention rates for men are estimated at 70 per cent. Those contractors who lead the way in culture change will have distinct advantages.

Reaching the 10 per cent goal will equate to adding another 9,500 women into the skilled trades in B.C.’s Construction industry. That achievement would be especially significant as it would effectively erase B.C.’s projected skills gap of 7,900 workers.

Read the full news release.

For more information about the Builders Code, please visit:

BuildForce Canada promotes Respectful Workplace Policy Framework and Implementation Guide

Companies looking to develop a respectful and inclusive workplace can also access a guide developed by BuildForce Canada.

The Respectful Workplace Policy Framework and Implementation Guide are part of the BuildForce Canada Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Toolkit that also includes the Online Self-Assessment Tool to enable organizations to assess the complete picture of what they are doing to create and support a respectful and inclusive workplace.

While the Policy Framework sets out the general principles that are necessary to build a respectful and inclusive workplace, the Implementation Guide provides best practices to support the framework and may be adapted to an organization’s particular circumstances.

The Policy Framework and Implementation Guide can be downloaded as Word documents from the BuildForce website. Please note: The first time you either the Policy Framework or Implementation Guide, you will see BuildForce Canada’s copyright policy and be asked to identify your industry group and what province you are from.