Jul 26, 2019

EllisDon Supports the Skilled Trades and training for Green & Higher Performance Buildings

The increasing popularity of carbon neutral, high-performance, and resilient buildings is driving the construction industry toward a mass transition. This transition brings challenges as ‘conventional’ construction processes still struggle to meet the new high-performance objectives. EllisDon recognizes the essential nature of training and preparing the Canadian workforce for the high performance and green buildings of tomorrow.

As highlighted in a recent Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) Report, Trading Up: Equipping Ontario Trades with the Skills of The Future, “…investments are expected to increase along with demand for skilled tradespeople and a green workforce in the construction industry. The transition to a low-carbon economy… will inevitably bring about changes in occupations and workforce competencies”.

Recognizing this transition, and in line with Action Item 3: Cleantech Innovation of our Carbon Impact Initiative, EllisDon Sustainable Building Solutions has supported several organizations in the development of new curricula for the next generation of skilled trades.

First, in support of LiUNA 1059 and the development of an updated Construction Craft Worker textbook. SBS provided sustainability content across a wide range of topics, including sustainable construction practices, materials, and techniques. Embedding sustainability directly into the training curriculum and introducing these concepts early in the apprenticeship program will help enforce the importance of sustainability in the next generation of tradespeople.

In support of the Georgina Trades Training Inc. (GTTI) and the Workforce Planning Board of York Region, SBS facilitated a focus group involving representation from various subtrades, including miscellaneous metals, mechanical, electrical, drywall, concrete, and formwork. The focus of this research was to get feedback directly from EllisDon subtrades about challenges and concerns for Low-carbon building best practices, standards, initiatives, and training methods. Based on feedback from the lead researcher, Dr. Ken Burton, this focus group was the “best attended and contained the most relevant information received thus far in this research project”, which we saw as a testament to the calibre of subtrades EllisDon has on its job sites.

EllisDon is committed to being a part of the continued development of green education and skills training for the construction workforce of tomorrow. Many of the lessons learned from EllisDon high performance projects show that these sustainability mandates involve teams that are highly communicative, speak the same sustainability language, and can adapt quickly to changing environments.

EllisDon looks forward to more opportunities to work directly with the trade associations and training institutes to help with building the Green Skilled Workforce of tomorrow. Any questions or inquiries into this, and any of the other sustainability initiatives within EllisDon can be sent to sustainability@ellisdon.com.