NEWS RELEASE: HR strategy to address underground mining in B.C.

Economy, Education Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:00 AM

VICTORIA – Additional funding for a human resource strategy that supports skills training for people working in underground mining is now underway between the B.C. government and the BC Mining HR Task Force.

Under the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) Labour Market Partnerships program, government is providing an additional $24,750 to expand the scope of the existing British Columbia Mineral and Mining Industry Human Resource Strategy to include underground mining. The funding will be used to include an underground miner occupational analysis and skills development component.

The project will identify the skill requirements of underground miners, evaluate the current capacity for training underground miners in B.C., and make recommendations to expand skills development programs in the province.

The underground mining strategy augments the British Columbia Mineral and Mining Industry Human Resource Strategy funding in excess of $1 million. The funding is being used to further develop strategies designed to meet the increasing demand for skilled labour in B.C.’s mining sector.

The broad-based strategy currently underway identifies industry-specific training and the educational and promotional needs required to keep pace with a growing industry that is facing a shortage of skilled workers. The project has a strong focus on youth and under-represented sectors of society, such as women, Aboriginal people and new Canadians.

The funding supports the work of the BC Mining HR Task Force, which is responsible for co-ordinating, developing and implementing workforce measures to ensure the mining industry in British Columbia has the human resources needed to support the growth and sustainability of the sector. The BC Mining HR Task Force is a multi-stakeholder partnership that includes mining companies, Aboriginal organizations, employee representatives and post-secondary institutions.

Under the BC Jobs Plan and BC Skills and Training Plan, government is actively creating awareness and encouraging people to consider careers in the trades and technical occupations through an investment of $75 million for new capital and equipment to complement $500 million in annual investments in employment and skills training programs.


Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell –

“Through the BC Jobs Plan, we are supporting the mining sector to positively impact workers, employers and the industry as a whole. This project will help ensure that we have the skilled workforce and a solid plan to help employers fill the jobs that are created through the ongoing expansion of B.C.’s mining sector.”

Karina Brino, president and CEO of the Mining Association of BC (MABC) –

“In the last decade, we have seen a 228-per-cent growth in employment in the mining industry, and the trend of needing more workers is expected to continue. It is often difficult for mining operations to find a reliable, local labour supply, in particular for jobs that require specialized skills and training. The Province has an opportunity through this initiative to train British Columbians to be ready to fill the need for underground miners in existing and proposed mines across the province. We are looking forward to working with our many partners in the industry on this initiative.”

David Bazowski, chair, BC Mining HR Task Force –

“The task force is well positioned to undertake this work as it fits the mandate and other initiatives that will foster access to jobs in the various components of the mining sector in B.C. We are pleased to once again collaborate with the Mining Industry Human Resource Council to undertake the work and look forward to making recommendations to various stakeholders at the conclusion of the project.”

Quick Facts:

Currently there are more than 29,000 people in B.C. employed in mining, mineral exploration, and related sectors.
New employment opportunities and job creation in the mining sector have the potential to add an additional 10,000 direct jobs over next 10 years.

Mining exploration funding was $322 million in 2010, as compared with $154 million in 2009.

In 2012, exploration spending in B.C. was $680 million, up 47 per cent from 2011.

Total production value of the mining industry in B.C. in 2012 was $7.4 billion.

Under the BC Jobs Plan, the government committed to opening eight new mines and nine expansions to currently operating mines.

Since the Jobs Plan was released, government has approved six major expansions of existing mines, three new mines are under construction and two new mines have begun production.

The Canada-British Columbia LMDA Labour Market Partnership program provides financial assistance to organizations to encourage, support and facilitate labour force adjustments and human resource planning activities which are in the public interest.

In British Columbia, funding under the LMDA is used to support labour market programs and services for residents who are collecting Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or have received them in the last three years, or for parents re-entering the labour force who have collected EI parental benefits in the last five years. It is also used to support employers in addressing human resources challenges.

In 2012-13, the $280-million LMDA budget is being used to provide employment assistance services, job-creation partnerships, labour market partnerships, self-employment, skills development and targeted wage subsidies programs.
Learn More:

Mining Association of BC:

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia:

WorkBC skills training programs:

Industry Training Authority:

Labour Market Partnerships Programs:

BC Jobs Plan:

BC Skills and Training Plan:

Ideas2Actions – results of the Skills4BC online discussion:

Canada-B.C. LMDA:

During the month of November, the B.C. government asked for ideas from citizens on the topic of building a skilled workforce. See what government is doing to put ideas into action:

Media Contacts:

Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
250 387-2799

Karina Brino
Mining Association of BC
604 681-4321


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