Virtual recruitment & assessment for the unionized construction industry

The project

This project aims to meet a growing demand for workers in the construction industry, particularly from underrepresented populations — women, youth, newcomers, Indigenous peoples, racialized and displaced workers, veterans and low-skilled individuals. These underrepresented groups face challenges entering construction trades due to lack of awareness, skills and connection to the industry.

Through a free online platform offering resources and career advice, active workers and job seekers can explore apprenticeships and careers in the skilled construction trades, as well as connect to an online assessment, learning tools and resources, and matching system for unionized construction work.

Building trades unions are helping to inform the recruitment strategy and refine the assessment, learning tools and resources, and matching process to ensure candidates have the aptitude and skills to succeed in their apprenticeship program. Unions have access to screened and qualified candidates who are able to start their apprenticeship program and commence filling job positions in construction.

The Future Skills Centre is investing $2.5 million to expand this project, following a previous $2.4 million investment to develop and implement a virtual recruitment and assessment centre in four regions across Canada to recruit underrepresented populations into the unionized construction industry.

Aerial view of construction workers looking at their work-site

Skills training / Career services provided

This innovative, online platform integrates engagement, assessment, skills development and recruitment efforts to attract traditionally underrepresented individuals to the unionized construction industry and offers access to building trades unions and job opportunities across Canada. 

Hundreds of online career exploration and recruitment resources showcasing the skilled construction trades are available, including trade-specific readiness assessments aligned to the cognitive profile of each trade, trade-specific preparation guides to help learners prepare for assessments and address skills gaps, practice tests, interactive online courses tailored to the trades, and hundreds of tutorial videos.

Early results

The first phase was highly successful in attracting approximately 4,500 candidates, including traditionally underrepresented populations, to explore careers in the skilled construction trades, connect to an online assessment, learning resources and/or matching system for unionized construction.

Highlights included: collaboration among Canada’s Building Trades Unions, Provincial Building Trades Councils; websites tailored to career exploration and regional, provincial and national needs; an online recruitment, assessment and matching system or “hub”; hundreds of resources and online learning tools including over 50 videos showcasing different skilled trades in action; personalized portals to engage potential apprentices; and social media marketing and recruitment campaigns customized to various provincial councils and tailored to regional needs. 

Next phase

The next phase expands the virtual recruitment and training system and will focus on customizing and optimizing user pathways to further engage and attract new populations nationally and regionally. The objective is to improve opportunities and support fast-tracking of underrepresented groups into a successful career in the skilled construction trades sector. 

Evaluation Strategy

This project will be evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its goals, context, and stage of development. The evaluation will focus on generating the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read more about our evaluation strategy.

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