Vancouver is set to be a popular destination for Irish construction workers.

Go west young men! West to Canada!

Irish construction workers left jobless as a result of economic gloom could soon find their skills in demand again, across the Atlantic – in Canada.

Representatives from the British Columbia Construction Association are in Ireland this week to discuss plans to fill up to 80,000 vacancies, and will be holding meetings with government departments and the Irish Construction Federation to discuss a predicted thousands of job vacancies expected to arise in the Canadian territory between now and 2014.

Unlike Ireland, the local economy there is in rude health and a program of building and mining projects worth 210 billion Canadian dollars is in the pipeline.

However, an aging Canadian workforce means a swathe of positions will remain unfilled upon the retirement of older workers, so “experienced managers” from the Irish sector are also being sought alongside qualified tradesmen.

It is understood that securing the work in Canada could help fast-track visa applications, with Irish recruits being able to work in Canada within 90 days, and able to bring spouses when emigrating for work.

The president of the British Columbia Construction Association, Manley MacLachlan, who will be visiting an upcoming “Working Abroad” Expo in Dublin, described problems in filling vacancies back home.

He also spoke of good working relationships between the industry in Ireland and Canada, and how it would benefit the works program in BC.

“We have a significant amount of work scheduled and a very significant shortfall in skilled workers,” he said.

“Ireland is our only focus. Quite frankly, we anticipate a real match between the training systems and the cultural similarities between both cultures which is very attractive to us.

There is a world of opportunity for suitable workers in the western province. We are in Ireland to find skilled labor, and our ministry of jobs, tourism, and innovation is also represented on this trip.”

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  • Michael Brennan

    I missed the convention in Dublin and I am now trying to find out where to apply for these candian jobs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Patrick Roche

    Hi Micheal,
    I went to the Expo but the que was too long and I could not stay.I am also wondering how to apply for these jobs as my own buisiness is really struggling at the moment.I am a plumber/Tiler -bathroom fitter and also do all general building.If you get any information I would appreciate you sharing it with me and I will do the same for you.I am based in Wicklow but am a Dub.

  • Ronan merrigan

    Im trying to seek work in canada in construction.i have machine tickets.360 excavator,180 excavator,site dumper,telescopic handler.and also have my safe pass up to date.and also do ground works.

  • Tina Fitzpatrick

    My husband came home from Edmonton in Canada before xmas driving an excavator/Backhoe 360 machine. If you need help getting started in canada I would be glad to help you on your way as I know how hard it can be. He is going back again soon, nobodie helped us so IT would be glad to help in anyway I can

  • Mary Murray

    Hi Tina,

    Just read your response to Ronan Merrigan. Myself and my husband would be interested in emailing you as he has applied for a construction position in Canada only yesterday and would be grateful for any guide/assistance.

  • Oran Mulholland


    I also missed the expo, I have been trying to find work in Canada myself.
    I am a contracts manager with over 15 years experience, also time served welder fabricator, have excavator licence, forklift, clean driving licence.
    Seeking some guidance on job seeking.