Aecon-led construction consortium awarded $1.2bn transit contract in Toronto
The Mosaic Transit Group, a consortium led by Canadian construction giant Aecon, has been awarded a new $1.2bn contract by transport agency Metrolinx for the building of the Finch West Light Rail Transit project.
The 11km light rail transit (LRT) line will be built through northwest Toronto, connect the Finch West subway rail station to Humber college with a total of 16 stops running the course of the line.
“Aecon continues to demonstrate proven capabilities to secure and deliver large-scale, complex infrastructure projects,” said John Beck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aecon Group.
“We look forward to working with Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario and our partners to execute this world-class project.”
Those making up the Mosaic Transit group - Aecon, ACS Infrastructure Canada and CRH Canada – will each retain a 33.3% stake in the LRT project, whereafter Aecon and ACS will each have a 50% equity in the 30-year maintenance contract that Metrolinx has also awarded.
“The Finch West light rail transit will be a significant addition to Toronto’s transit system and Aecon is pleased to play a key role in connecting communities across the Greater Toronto Area,” Beck continued.
The building is expected to complete by 2021, construction work forecast to begin in Q2 this year.
217,000 extra workers needed to meet COVID-19 recovery
As the construction industry’s recovery progresses, the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Construction Skills Network (CSN) forecasts have led the organisation to believe the industry will reach 2019 levels of output in 2022.
The CSN says there will be an increase in the number of construction workers in “most English regions” by 2025, with demands forecasted at a 1.7% rise for the East Midlands, and a 1.4% rise for the West Midlands.
Scotland and Wales are also predicted to see a surge in demand for construction workers with a total increase of 1.4% and 0.7% respectively. The North East is the only region to see a slight decline in workforce demand at -0.1%.
Wood and interior fit-out trades among the most desirable during COVID-19
According to CSN’s forecast, the trades that are the most wanted are those of wood and interior fit-outs, with both requiring around 5,500 workers per year. Other in-demand trades include technical staff and other construction professionals, requiring 5,150 workers each year, construction managers at 3,600, and the electrical installation trade, which requires 3,400 staff per year.
There is also expected to be demand for 7,850 non-construction, office-based professionals and technical and IT support staff each year. Steve Radley, Policy Director at CITB, said: “It’s great to see construction coming back so strongly and creating lots of job opportunities.
“We need to adopt new approaches to meet these growing skills needs and deliver these quickly. We are working closely with the government and FE to build better bridges between FE and work and make apprenticeships more flexible. We are also making significant investments in supporting work experience that make it easier for employers to bring in new blood.
“We must also make sure that we invest in the skills that will drive change and meet new and growing needs such as Net Zero emissions and Building Safety. We will be announcing plans soon to tackle specific skills and occupations such as leadership and management, digital skills, and skills related to energy efficiency”, he said.