Over the last few years, Québec has had difficulty recruiting on the job market, and the construction industry covered under Act R-20 is no exception. The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) conducted a study on labour scarcity in an attempt to understand what leads workers to leave the industry.
The study paints a portrait of the situation of construction workers who drop out; then it presents the results of a survey conducted among construction workers in January 2020.
First, from the quantitative data held by the CCQ, it is possible to determine the contextual factors that contribute to retaining workers in the industry. Here are some of them:
- Overall, the drop-out rate is 15% after one year, and 35% after five years.
- It is higher among non-graduates (40%) than among graduates (24%) after five years.
- Some trades have a higher drop-out rate, which may be explained, among other things, by the greater number of job offers in sectors outside of construction covered under Act R-20.
- Women have a consistently higher drop-out rate than do men.
- In terms of hours worked, having a good start seems to be a factor in retention: the higher the number of hours worked during the first year, the lower the drop-out rate.
Second, the survey expanded our comprehension of the factors that lead individuals to choose the construction industry and the reasons for which they are likely to stay or to leave. A number of items emerge, including the following:
- It is a love for the trade and for manual labour that first draws an individual to construction. Then come pay, working conditions, family influence, challenges, and the need for workers.
- The main reason mentioned to explain the departure of an individual is the lack of work or the closure of a company, which evokes the situation of not having been recalled to work after a construction site is completed. Working conditions come next, followed by other, more personal considerations.
- The work environment seems to explain some departures, as people who have left are more likely to state that they had poor relations with the employer, had difficulty integrating into the work team, or had suffered intimidation, discrimination, or harassment.
- On a positive note, 60% of workers who have left the industry would like to return.
Read the full study (in French only).