Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) Receives $1 Million to Support Labour Market Research – by Ryan Montpellier

Ryan Montpellier is the Executive Director of the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR)

On September the 17th, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, announced funding of $1 million to the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) in support of mining-related labour market information (LMI), under the Council’s Mining Workforce Information Network (MIWIN) project. The funding will be used to build a counter cyclical strategy for industry, enhance supply side information and establish a mining LMI centre of excellence, all requested by industry. 

Launched in 2007, MIWIN now provides accurate and timely labour-market information to the mining industry and its stakeholders. This entails forecasting future hiring requirements in the sector, by occupation and region, based on a number of factors including productivity, turnover, retirement rates and fluctuations in commodity prices — the largest driver of employment in the sector. 

The Canadian mining industry faces several labour market challenges and tens of thousands of skilled positions must be filled in the next decade to keep the industry robust. Despite impressive increases in the participation of various demographic groups (e.g., Aboriginal peoples, women and new Canadians), employers are still faced with an aging workforce and a looming labour shortage.

The Council has recently launched the Canadian Mining Industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts 2010 report and Mining HR Forecasts to proactively address these challenges and to help industry meet future hiring requirements. Developed under MIWIN, these two new resources provide extensive research and analysis on Canada’s mining labour market and workforce planning.

For the first time ever, employers, educators, job seekers, HR professionals and other stakeholders will not only have access to an in-depth analysis of the mining industry’s workforce and its characteristics, but also a web-based forecasting tool which allows them to create their own “what-if” scenarios and assess the potential impact on their hiring requirements.

Also included in the report is a description of the model for forecasting employment and hiring requirements, national, regional and occupational employment and hiring forecasts over a 10 year period and high level discussion on addressing current and future labour market challenges.

Mining HR Forecasts is a website which includes an employment forecasting tool and reports. The employment forecasting tool projects changes in employment and hiring requirements over a 10 year period, with particular emphasis on national, regional and occupational needs and generates custom forecasts based on the model and parameters specified in the Canadian Mining Industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts 2010 report.

Users can perform simple criteria selection to generate forecasts based on region, occupation, and economic forecast scenario and generate custom forecasts by specifying labour productivity rate, separation rate and average retirement age. The tool also generates short reports which compare MiHR’s forecast scenarios to customized “what if” scenarios. This powerful forecasting tool enables industry to make strategic decisions on their future hiring requirements.

The Canadian mining industry is highly competitive on the world stage and has the potential to remain successful for many years. Countries undergoing rapid economic development, such as China and India, will continue to need the raw materials that Canada provides; however, this potential is threatened by looming labour shortages and human resources issues facing the sector. Several labour market trends are impacting the availability and quality of people in mining, most notably the aging workforce, productivity and challenges in attracting new talent to the sector.

Industry must first maximize and make the best use of all available sources of labour, and second, increase its productivity through investments in training and skills development, coupled with improving the foundation for innovation and technological advances.

MiHR is committed to developing solutions to address these challenges by exploring anticipated hiring requirements over the medium to long term and providing labour market information (LMI) to sector stakeholders. MIWIN’s suite of employment forecasting products is a key component of this solution. 

In addition to Mining HR Forecasts and the Canadian Mining Industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts 2010 report, provincial forecasts have also been produced under MIWIN for the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Access the employment forecasting tool and these reports for free at To request print copies of these reports, please contact MiHR at (613) 270-9696 or