Mining Sector Human Resource Needs Remain Strong Despite Downturn

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The mining industry´s need for a large infusion of skilled workers over the next decade may be curbed by current economic circumstances but it will not be eliminated.  In a presentation for the Mining Association of Canada, Ryan Montpellier, Executive Director of the Mining Industry Human Resource Council (MiHR), laid out several scenarios on the sector´s workforce needs looking out to 2016. 

Local, provincial, national and international forces all impact projections of mining´s human resource needs in Canada.  When you look at the massive alterations which have been occurring in global financial systems and the downturn in commodity markets, it is all too apparent that the impact of changing macro economic variables influence the human resource requirements of the industry.  In earlier studies, MiHR projected that the industry in Canada needed 80,000 new workers over the next 10 years.  As the world demand for Canada´s mineral products grew, the number of new employees needed in Canada´s mining sector from 2007 to 2016 was increased to 92,000.  That level still may be required.

However, in offering alternatives, MiHR presented a no-growth scenario for the future.  In this case, the need for retirement and non-retirement replacement requirements still showed a need for more than 62,000 new mining employees out to 2016 — or more than 6,200 per year.   In a more negative projection of industry contraction over a four year period, there still was a demand for more than 46,000 new mining employees out to 2016 — or more than 4,600 per year. 

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