Vale hatches a plan [worker shortages] – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – January 3, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Vale Ltd. is devising strategies to deal with one of its greatest challenges — the looming shortage of skilled tradespeople, and production and maintenance workers for its Canadian operations.

The Brazil-based miner has launched a country-wide advertising campaign to convince Canadians they can live the good life in Sudbury, rather than having to fly in and out of mining or oil sands operations.

Vale expects to hire at least 300 full-time people in 2012, mostly engineers and skilled tradespeople. But it will be looking for miners as well. A recent call for 60 production and maintenance workers netted 800 resumes, said Vale spokeswoman Angie Robson.

The company is looking to hire 130 workers for its Thompson operation and 40 engineers across Canada, she said.

“We have to be strategic about recruitment,” Robson said.

Aside from advertising the benefits of working in Sudbury, Vale representatives have been active on university and college campuses at career fairs, out to convince young people that mining is a promising career path.

Vale’s efforts to attract workers are paying off, said Robson.

In the last three months, the number of applications to work at the company have increased 50%.

Vale officials are also visiting high schools and participating in the 22nd annual Canadian Mining Games, which will be held at Laurentian University from Feb. 23-26.

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