Collaboration Needed To Fix Two Of Canada’s Sticky Issues

sugar silos decorated with blue siding and joined at the top by a covered conveyor belt
Siloes are a great design for storage, but not so much for collaboration.

Canada is facing a shortage of construction workers. There are many young people in Canada who need work. And as Michael Braithwaite knows only too well, many people are having trouble hanging on to their housing. Homelessness is growing.

Braithwaite is the Executive Director of Blue Door, which provides services to people who are homeless in the communities surrounding Toronto.

When Braithwaite looked at the need for construction workers as well as the people who needed jobs, he saw an opportunity. Blue Door launched Construct, which supports people with training and work experience. Construct opens the door to construction jobs that pay decent wages and the prospect of long term employment.

Construct ticks two boxes in the federal government’s to do list:

    • filling the labour gap in the construction industry and
    • ending homelessness.

But there’s a sticking point: departmental silos. The department in charge of the labour force is separate from the department in charge of ending homelessness. They could be nudged to work together and increase the number of people who have access to Construct. That might spread the impact of Construct-style initiatives across the country.

Michael Braithwaite has teamed up with Jacob Gorenkoff to encourage the federal government to get on with the nudging. You can read more about Construct and the silo issue in Policy Options: Breaking down government silos to address the crises of homelessness and housing