Mining industry talks strategy in recruiting Indigenous workers – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – August 29, 2023)

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum seeks answers on attracting new resource workers

As the mining industry contends with a shortage of skilled workers, Indigenous peoples have often been described as an untapped resource that could help fill the gap. But how do companies attract Indigenous workers to the sector?

That was the topic of discussion during an Aug. 25 webinar hosted by the Diversity Inclusion and Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM). Erinn Mah, the senior lead of Indigenous relations at Teck, said “human, boots-on-the-ground” interactions with people are far more effective than handing someone a pamphlet and expecting them to read a job description.

But it shouldn’t just be the human resources or community relations representatives attending job fairs and other recruitment forums, she advised. Instead, companies should send people from front-line positions — a heavy duty equipment operator or someone who works in the mill — so that potential recruits can ask questions and get real answers from people employed in those roles.

“Bringing it as close to home and making it as personal as possible is the most powerful way to get through to people,” Mah said. Freda Campbell agrees.

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