Advocacy and Research

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Advocacy and Research

As the leading voice of BC’s construction industry, ICBA speaks out on issues that impact its members, including labour and employment policies, fair tendering, Worksafe BC policies, regulation and taxation, infrastructure, and building a stronger and better BC. At a national level, ICBA is part of Merit Canada, an organization that fights to allow fair and open competition in awarding contracts for public projects.

ICBA’s history is rich with advocacy and standing up for our values. Forty years later we are still standing up for free enterprise values and sound legislation that is fair to both employers and employees.

Today, we fight for responsible development and bringing projects to ‘Yes’ because when BC grows, we all grow.

Over the years, we’ve advocated for many projects that have helped change the political and economic landscape of the province.

Wage and Benefit Survey

Each year, ICBA surveys members on their confidence in the industry, and examines the increases or decreases in wages and benefits. This survey is one of the important services ICBA offers to its members. The survey results for 2017 are nearly complete. These results are only accessible for ICBA members and people who took the time to complete the survey. Log in to see the results from 2016, or explore the trends, data and information at your leisure below.

2017 Results

2017 Public Report

Previous public Reports 

2016 Public Report
2015 Public Report
2014 Public Report

Polls and Studies

Construction industry optimistic for 2016 except in northern B.C., survey suggests

B.C.’s Interior, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are optimistic for increased work volumes and wages in 2016, according to the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C.’s annual survey. However, Northern B.C. projects a decline in growth despite increased activity.

While previous surveys indicated promising years for the construction industry, the 2016 survey suggests a shift in northern B.C.

The survey found that only 22 per cent of open shop businesses in northern B.C. are predicting an increase in activity in 2016, down from 58 per cent in 2015 and 71 per cent in 2014. With fewer companies in northern B.C. projecting an increase in work volume, many respondents suggest they will be hiring fewer tradespeople, and many will not increase employee hours.

Despite the dip in growth in northern B.C., the overall outlook is positive. The survey suggests that on average:

  • 48 per cent of companies will see an increase in work, and 46 per cent of companies are expecting the same workload as they did in 2015.
  • 42 per cent of companies will hire new tradespeople in 2016 to deal with the projected increase. This trend remains consistent over the past three years.
  • Companies across B.C.’s Interior, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are expecting wages to rise 3 per cent in 2016, continuing the trend for upward growth. Many businesses will increase the hours of existing employees.
  • Wage ranges for construction trades have consistently risen since 2013.
  • 80 per cent of companies surveyed will employ apprentices, up 5 per cent from last year, and half will pay for at least part of the apprentices’ tuition.

Companies will continue to offer generous benefits packages, with 90 per cent covering all or part of the costs for their hourly employees. Half of the construction companies surveyed pay bonuses to their hourly employees, while 41 per cent provide upgrading or training allowances, and a quarter pay tool and clothing allowances.

Since 2014, ICBA has conducted a wage and benefits survey that forecasts the construction industry in B.C. and provides insights towards changes in the sector. The respondents are comprised of ICBA members who cover every region in B.C., representing all construction trades and company sizes. A summary of the survey is released online, while the comprehensive and detailed results are provided exclusively to ICBA members, available here.

Silent majority say ‘yes’ to responsible resource development while NDP leadership remains out of touch

A new study released today by ICBA reveals that overall 84 per cent of British Columbians support responsible development.

Of the 800 British Columbians surveyed, the poll revealed that:
• 67 per cent support the Site C Clean Energy project only 18 per cent oppose it;
• 68 per cent support expansion of our ports and 20 per cent oppose it;
• 62 per cent support mining and 25 per cent oppose it; and,
• 58 per cent support LNG and 28 per cent oppose it.

“It’s clear, the ‘no to everything’ movement in B.C. is not representative of citizens’ views on responsible resource development,” said Philip Hochstein, president of the ICBA. “This poll illustrates that a strong majority of British Columbians understand that B.C. is a resource-based economy and it creates jobs in every sector.”

Read more

Inaccurate perceptions of trade jobs, study reveals

A study released by the ICBA reveals that 59 per cent of young adults are unaware of how to get into the trades because of their inaccurate perceptions of construction. The poll revealed that when given a list of different types of trades’ job opportunities with approximate wages and salaries for B.C. overall, the 12 traditional trade jobs were ranked at the bottom of the list. The greatest interest was in office opportunities such as office managers, business development managers, estimators and project managers.

“Youth are interested in office jobs but do not realize that those opportunities often start with trades training,” ICBA president Philip Hochstein said. “The takeaway for me is that we need to start promoting careers in construction not a job in the trades.”

The poll also showed that:

  • less than half of the respondents (48 per cent) see a job in the trades as a long term career with opportunity for advancement because they are always in demand, they can learn new skills and it pays well
  • 52 per cent see a job in the trades as either career limiting or didn’t know because it is physically demanding work, there is no room for promotion and once you are in you are stuck with your trade
  • the first things that came to mind when they heard a “job in the trades” were: manual labour, good pay, training or certification required and hard work.
  • The top factors to seek a trades job: discovering they loved the work, more money, job security, career advancement

“As an industry, we have some work to do to change the way young people perceive skilled trades,” said Hochstein. “ICBA and the open shop construction industry are rolling up our sleeves to make sure we do.”

View the study results here.

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of British Columbia

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