Regulatory amendments – labour scarcity in the construction industry

The government of Québec unveiled its action plan for the construction sector today.

Among the measures announced, eight of them specifically concern the regulations applied by the CCQ.

In fact, in recent months, the CCQ and the employer and union associations proposed major regulatory changes to better confront the challenges of recruiting workers for the construction industry. 

Labour scarcity on construction sites is explained by ageing of the population, combined with continuing high economic activity in the industry. 

The government’s plan sets out other measures and important investments in construction. Click here for more details.

Starting on April 26, 2021, it will therefore be possible:

  • To have experience acquired outside of construction be recognized for joining the industry by allowing the issuance of an apprentice competency certificate to all individuals who submit a relevant record of recognition of professional experience equivalent to 35% of apprenticeship in the trade.
  • To hire a larger number of apprentices by allowing, for each journeyperson, the on-site supervision of a second apprentice if that apprentice is in the final apprenticeship period for his or her trade.
  • To generate more multiskilling on construction sites by allowing apprentices to perform residual tasks attached to their trade. 
  • To accelerate access to the status of journeyperson for all apprentices by allowing them to be admitted to the qualification examination when 85% of their apprenticeship hours have been completed.
  • To accelerate access to the status of journeyperson for graduates by enhancing by one and a half the value of the diploma (DEP or DEC) for progress in the apprenticeship.
  • To allow work on construction sites during studies by issuing apprentice competency certificates to students while they are attending school to give them practical experience in construction.
  • To facilitate access for graduates of programs leading to the specialized occupations of land surveyor instrument person, blaster-driller, and diver by issuing them an occupation competency certificate without their having to go through the random draw for the Cours de connaissance générale de l’industrie de la construction.
  • To encourage the next generation of contractors by allowing each employer to obtain two exemptions from holding a competency certificate for child of employer, instead of just one.

Significant assistance to support the industry

Essentially, the regulatory modifications are aimed at achieving the following five objectives:

  1. Encouraging access to the industry for individuals who have relevant work experience
  2. Increasing hiring opportunities for new apprentices 
  3. Making initial training more attractive, with the goal of retaining students in vocational training centres until they obtain their diploma
  4. Accelerating the progress of apprentices to journeyperson status
  5. Fostering on-site work organization that improves productivity

It should be noted that before the government of Québec adopted the regulatory amendments initially proposed by the board of directors of the CCQ, the measures went through a rigorous analysis and had been the subject of an obligatory 45-day public consultation period. 

Some numbers on the industry 

Workforce needs in the construction industry are estimated at 13,000 new workers per year for the next five years. The scarcity of labour currently being experienced by the majority of construction employers will be felt until 2030.

In 2019, the construction industry subject to the Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training and Workforce Management in the Construction Industry (Act R-20) numbered 175,893 employed workers practising one or another of the trades or occupations and 26,005 construction companies in Québec.

For a more detailed description of each of the eight measures, visit


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