(File photo)

Vancouver Islanders who work in the construction industry can expect significant raises in the near future, according to a report released earlier this month by the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of BC (ICBA).

Construction in BC is a healthy industry, says the ICBA, and the association believes that wages will increase by 4.8% in 2019, and 5.3% in 2020. The increase of 10.1% by next year is climbing at twice the rate of inflation.

“That’s great news for the hundreds of thousands of British Columbians who already are or are thinking about making their living in construction,” reads the report.

(Graph / ICBA)

Meanwhile, the majority of the over 1,000 construction companies that participated in the ICBA’s report say that they expect to have more work in 2019 than in 2018. On Vancouver Island specifically, roughly a third of local construction companies anticipate more work this year than last.

With the industry on the rise, ICBA found that the biggest obstacle for contractors right now is finding workers.

“The most immediate challenge in the industry remains simply finding enough qualified people to do the available work,” reads the report.

Compared to the rest of the province, Vancouver Island is the most in need of workers. 82% of companies say they require more qualified employees, especially carpenters, labourers, and plumbers.

To manage the labour shortage, 58% of companies reported turning down work, 58% said they are requiring longer project timelines to complete work, and 53% say they are paying extra or higher wages to employees.

“Just over half the B.C. construction companies taking part in our annual ICBA Wage and Benefits Survey expect increased business volumes this year – and by 24% on average,” reads the report. “To put that in context, the global economy as a whole is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2019.”

“Clearly, this industry is still firing on all cylinders and then some.”

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