The need for the mining industry to attract a strong workforce in the decades ahead remains a critical topic and I think it’s something that bears emphasizing. The growth potential is such that in Canada alone the industry will need over 145,000 workers by 2023, according to the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR).
A report released last November looked at the ability of the industry to access workers with the necessary skills when an economic upswing takes place. The shortage in skilled tradespeople is exacerbated by a lack of recruitment over the past five years. That only increases pressure on an already thin labour supply. It also hampers the resurgence of the industry to previous production and employment levels.
That’s why this is such an important issue to raise.
The Mining Industry Human Resources Council also estimates that the pool of available talent will not be enough to meet the industry’s needs by 2023 — that’s only six years away.
The challenge of attracting skilled workers to our industry presents both a challenge and an opportunity. For those looking for a growth industry, it’s a great opportunity to enter a field where your skills will be valued and well compensated. Given the need for workers, mining will offer security that is lacking in other fields. The jobs run the gamut from engineers to geologists, to health and safety professionals and many other trades.
Admittedly, mining was not my first choice when I completed my studies. After earning my MBA, I joined Hudson Bay Mining as a financial analyst. I didn’t have long-term plans as far as working in the mining industry is concerned until I realized what a tremendous entrepreneurial opportunity this industry could be.
It’s also worthwhile to note that there are ongoing innovations in mining which hold great promise and are tremendously exciting, advances such as sensor-driven autonomous mining machines and developments in the microbiology of minerals. The technological advancements and possible applications in the area of robotics are also very exciting.
There are excellent training courses available for those wanting to get into mining available through the Canadian Mining Certification Program (CMCP). The CMCP is a national program that certifies the skills and competencies of mine workers. Those positions include miners and drillers. There are also certified courses and programs offered by EduMine.
The field offers plenty of opportunities for personal growth. This industry is not for everyone, but I can say from experience that it offers many enriching opportunities for growth. My goal here once again is to remind everyone of some of those exciting opportunities.