A Builders Code for improved construction culture

*Article sponsored by BCCA
by Chris Atchison
President, British Columbia Construction Association

Looking back on five years of the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) Builders Code program is a chance to evaluate where we are as an industry, appreciate how far we’ve come, and understand how much work is left to do.

Facing important workforce recruitment challenges, Canada’s construction industry must cast a wider net and attract and retain a more diverse workforce. We must continue to make the worksite a more welcoming place, free of discrimination, harassment, and bullying. These are the core tenets of the Builders Code program, a key pillar of BCCA’s workforce development strategy which sets a standard code of conduct for workers in the construction industry, from the worksite to the boardroom. This valuable program can be applied from coast to coast to coast.

Canada’s construction industry lacks diversity. This is untenable in a country where women make up more than half of the population. It is unsustainable on a territory that is home to so many Indigenous communities. It is unrealistic in a market where workers trace their origins to over 200 different countries.

The Builders Code attempts to help address these important issues. It is a resource created for employers and employees alike, respectful of the overarching imperatives of safety – including psychological safety – and productivity. Among freely available resources are policies that any employer can use. They communicate expectations to all workers and help guide the employer-employee relationship.

By signing the Builders Code Pledge for an Acceptable Worksite, employers send a strong signal that inequity no longer has a place in our industry. This commitment to a safe and welcoming work environment can be shared with employees on the worksite, and as part of the onboarding process.

Employers seeking additional support can sign their teams up for virtual facilitator-led training. New self-directed online culture training options will be released this spring, including a module specifically designed to help with the onboarding of new employees. Builders Code training is key to what must be an ongoing process, as we continue to challenge ourselves to break down the barriers that prevent equity-deserving groups from considering a career in construction.

Join us in making BCCA’s Builders Code a resource that is used by industry from coast to coast to coast.

Visit our website at builderscode.ca.

Together, we’re building a construction industry that works for everyone.