Labor shortage: “We cannot offer the service to Hydro”

“There used to be five or six companies that applied for a project. “Nowadays there are often only two of us or we are alone,” warns Bruno Del Degan, head of a large consulting engineering firm that is struggling to have enough engineers for our major projects.

“For certain hydropower projects, we are even unable to offer Hydro the service to carry out certain tasks or functions,” says Bruno Del Degan, managing director and majority shareholder of DDM Group.

“For example, we will go to Hydro and tell them: “This project we do not have the capacity to carry out,” explains the trained engineer, who would need around twenty engineers tomorrow morning to respond to the cultivation demand.

Hydraulic, civil or environmental engineers… the company needs hands at a time when the Legault government is making big announcements for mega-factories in the battery sector, not to mention Hydro-Québec’s ambitious growth plan.

Last week, Le Journal reported that more than 52,000 engineers will be needed over the next decade, according to the Order of Engineers of Quebec (OIQ). On Monday, Le Journal revealed that there is a rush for paid accelerated training in the construction industry.

Buildings on ice

On Tuesday, on the sidelines of the major HR manufacturing meeting organized by a dozen workforce committees in Drummondville, the labor shortage was on everyone’s lips as it has now completely jeopardized major projects.

“We have several developers in the Quebec region who have reached out to us so we can design the buildings they want to build, but we don’t have the staff to do it,” said Bruno Del Degan, who is at the helm of a Quebec Company with 80 employees and offices in Montreal.

The CEO of Hydro-Québec had also already pointed out this critical problem that could spoil the party when presenting his action plan.

“By 2035, an average of around 35,000 construction workers will have to be involved in building new infrastructure. “Your recruitment will be a major challenge,” warned Hydro’s big boss.

The same applies to cities too

Bruno Del Degan also mentions in the Journal that the wear and tear on the municipal infrastructure is also being felt enormously. Aqueducts and sewers desperately need love.

“We have to draw or project what needs to be replaced, but again we have less drawing capacity,” he clarifies.

According to Bruno Del Degan, the teams will be overloaded for another ten years.

“Many jobs are behind schedule and some others need to be completed within a certain schedule,” the man concludes.

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