Mining Industry to Face Serious Hiring Challenges in Coming Decade
Prince George, B.C. – Despite the downturn in the mining industry because of low commodity prices resulting in job layoffs, the industry, right across the country, will be facing a significant hiring challenge over the next decade says a new report from the Mining Industry Human Resources Council.
Just as in other industries, mining is facing challenges posed by the retirement of experienced workers, and from those who will leave that industry for other reasons.
Over the next decade, the report says the rate of workers retiring from the mining industry in Canada will increase from 1.8% to 2.5%. Given the volatile nature of the industry because it is ruled by demand, the report presents three scenarios on how many workers would need to be hired to replace those who are retiring, or leaving the industry for other reasons should the industry slow over the next decade, stay the same, or expand:
Stays the same 106,490
The report says some of the factors contributing to the hiring pressure are
- job vacancies mismatched with the skills of people who are seeking work
- low levels of labour market participation among groups of potential workers
- complex patterns of educational attainment, skills requirements and unemployment
- a reliance on commuting workers
- lack of mobility among workers in some occupational groups
- older workers retiring
- gaps between the need to hire workers and new entrants to the pool of skilled workers.
While the number of people working in BC’s mining industry in 2014 decreased to 9,954 from 10,720 in 2013, it is estimated that over the next 10 years the mining industry in this province will need to hire nearly 17 thousand new workers.
As has been the case with other industries, the report recommends more effort be made to attract those who are underrepresented in the industry. Women, Aboriginals, and Immigrants all present an opportunity to increase the potential labour pool states the report which adds “An effective strategy to strengthen the labour market must include all diverse groups.”