Employment & Training

Employment in the construction industry is highly cyclical, depending on the current level of construction activity. Workers in the construction industry must be willing to travel to where there is work. For employment prospects in a specific Trade, contact the Affiliates of the Building Trades Council.

Construction workers see their Union Hall in the same way many workers in other industries view their employer. The Union helps maintain a consistent level of employment for their members and is the contact point for their pension and benefit package. Contractors contact the Union Hall for workers, who are supplied through the membership list. First and foremost Unions look after employment for their members. When local sources are exhausted they will use their networks to recruit from other areas.

Union construction workers wages are negotiated through provincial collective bargaining and are typically higher than non-unionized workers. Separate agreements are signed between employers and unions for each trade division: Labourers, Carpenters, Electrical, Operating Engineers, Iron Workers, Sheet metal, Boilermakers, Insulators, Painters, Plumbing and Millwrights.

Construction workers receive their training through the apprenticeship system. Over 50 percent of apprentices in Saskatchewan are involved in the Building Trades. For information on how to become an apprentice contact a labour union or the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship Commission.

Apprenticeship is primarily on-the-job training through the mentorship of a journeyperson. A contract will be signed with the Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Office to keep track of your hours and progress through the system. Many Trades have a Red Seal designation, which means that the certification will be recognized across Canada.

It takes two to five years to receive a journeyperson certificate. Specific information on training for each trade can be found at SaskNetWork or SIAST.