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Build Social Research project to launch in January 2021

Nov 20, 20200 comments

Voor Urban Labs conducting first-ever Canadian study to measure social value, productivity and community impacts from the construction industry employing workers who face barriers.

We are thrilled www.BuildSocial.ca will be launched in January 2021 to measure the benefits of social procurement in the Canadian construction industry. Build Social is a platform and research study which has received approval from Simon Fraser University Research Ethics Board.

The $170 billion Canadian construction industry employs some 1.4 million people across Canada, but on the horizon is an increasing labour shortage of tens of thousands of workers. This research examines the Canadian construction industry employing workers who face barriers to employment.  Commencing January 2021, Voor Urban Labs will launch three quantitative and qualitative research phases and take place on construction sites in different Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Halifax, and elsewhere. Voor Urban Labs has been contracted by Buy Social Canada to conduct the research with a projected one thousand submissions. 

Build Social examines the productivity and work readiness of various temporary construction workers brought on job sites from market and non-market labour suppliers. It examines worker evaluation, training and supports, as well as broader ‘social value’ to workers and their communities. It also explores the experience of workers who face barriers as they are hired through private and community-based temp worker agencies. Workers are often brought into the industry through social enterprise labour agencies that hope to improve the lives of workers who face barriers to landing well-paid secure work. 

The research will determine if labour from socially-procured suppliers is perceived to deliver comparable productivity standards to other workers on similar construction acts on the same construction site. In addition to worker productivity comparisons provided by supervisors, we will learn about the social value benefits of social procurement in the construction industry and in the communities where it builds public infrastructure. As the sector faces a major shortage of skilled workers, and moderately continues through this Covid19 economics disruption, the research will  provide timely data and analysis as precarious workers are especially vulnerable and impacted.  The research site at www.buildsocial.ca communicates to the construction industry as well as the research community participants regarding the study, communicates the benefits and provides access to participants. Follow along and read blog updates on the Build Social website.

About Voor

Voor Urban Labs is a progressive urban planning consultancy that specializes in ambitious and creative strategies for complex multi stakeholder solutions.

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