Miners, trades to be in short supply: Report – by Sebastien Perth (Sudbury Star – March 6, 2013)

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

The mining industry is facing a major human resource problem in the next 10 years as more workers will retire even as fewer students are getting skilled trades training.

Workforce Planning for Sudbury and Manitoulin has released a study that shows the mining industry in and around Sudbury will need more than 21,000 workers to fill vacancies over the next decade. And that’s after taking into consideration the recent slowdown in the industry.

Reggie Caverson, executive director of Workforce Planning for Sudbury and Manitoulin, said many factors are to blame for the projected labour shortfall.

“We’re dealing with the pending retirement of really knowledgeable and skilled people probably within the next five to 10 years and we also find we’re not seeing a lot of people going into the trades, specifically mining. We’re not attracting a lot of local talent to the profession. “When you combine those factors, we may not have enough people at the end of the road who are trained to be able to take over the jobs.”

Caverson says while mining has been in Sudbury for a long time, it still experiences an image problem.

“We come from a longstanding mining community where a lot of parents told their kids to go to university and not into the trades. Now we’re finding a dearth of students that have a degree, but no jobs. Some are going back to college to get a trade.

“We don’t promote our industry as well as we could. We don’t talk to students enough about it, about the fact there are 66 different occupations in mining. Parents pushed their kids to go to university, and now they are sending them to colleges.

“There’s a lot of benefits to working in the trades. They are in demand all over the country.”

Another problem Caverson pointed to as a leading factor in the lack of skilled workers are the rules around apprenticeship training in Ontario,

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/03/06/miners-trades-to-be-in-short-supply-report