Labour Issues

Primarily young, and increasingly less experienced, the seasonal silviculture workforce carries unique challenges regarding recruitment and retention of competent workers. With the majority of workers paid on a piece-work basis the workplace is strongly focused on production. These cultural features place a critical and immediate emphasis on the best selection, motivation, treatment and training of workers. Over the long term the industry needs to retain experienced career-oriented workers capable of managing workers and projects. To better understand the dynamics around labour in the sector the Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association entered into a three-year Labour Market Partnership agreement with government. Its purpose was to measure and make better sense of the silviculture workforce and recommend constructive human resource strategies. The BC Silviculture Workforce Initiative, which concluded in 2015, provided various reports and much of the logic, data, and analysis that now inform the industry’s approach to improving human resource and workforce practices and planning.

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