(Bloomberg) — Digging up the metals that go into power grids and electric cars is crucial to the energy transition. While the mining industry has plenty of reserves to tap, it faces a worrying shortage of young workers needed to get materials out of the ground.
In regions like Canada and the US, enrollment or graduation from university courses related to mining engineering slipped in recent years. The dilemma adds to the challenges miners face as they scramble to boost output of everything from copper and nickel to cobalt and lithium, just as many nations view supplies as a matter of national security and users rush to secure metal.
Fewer students want to be geologists or engineers, partly due to mining’s negative image regarding pollution, human rights and gender equality.
That’s leaving the industry with an aging workforce and forcing it to recruit from outside the traditional university talent pool, such as through apprenticeship programs and internal training.
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