Strengthening the Mining Industry Labour Market
Canada: resource rich
We are lucky to live in Canada – a country brimming with beautiful parks, greenspace and natural resources. Many of the goods we enjoy every day are produced with the metals and minerals extracted by Canada’s mining industry, and innovative measures are necessary to maintain access to these resources while minimizing environmental impacts.
To reduce mining’s environmental impact, more jobs need to focus on green innovation – including developing and implementing methods and technologies to create more efficient and sustainable mineral and metal extraction processes.
Planting the seeds of green innovation, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) launched its Green Jobs Program in 2017 to help post-secondary graduates gain relevant and meaningful work experience in the mining sector. Funding for the Green Jobs Program is provided in part by the Government of Canada through Natural Resource Canada’s Green Jobs – Science and Technology Internship Program, as part of the government’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES).
The program’s goal is to create 120 mining job opportunities related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that focus on clean technology and innovation.
In addition to advancing the state of green industrialization, the Green Jobs Program works to help recent graduates transition to long-term employment, or to pursue advanced studies, through work experience and mentorship provided by hiring organizations.
“The mining industry is evolving rapidly and new technologies are emerging to increase productivity and decrease our environmental footprint. Creating new career opportunities that focus on making a positive environmental contribution is pivotal to the long term sustainability of the sector,” says Ryan Montpellier, Executive Director of MiHR. “Recent graduates gain relevant experience in their field of study and mining employers can access a wage subsidy of up to $12,000 to help offset the cost of the new ‘green position.’ It’s a win for everybody.”
What is a Green Job, and who can get one?
Simply put, a “green job” is a position within an organization that aims to protect the environment or that involves processes with positive environmental outcomes. To qualify for a Green Jobs Program wage subsidy, positions must be within the minerals and metals sector, relate to STEM fields and align with green economic sectors or industries. Paid internships, full-time and indeterminate positions are all accepted. To qualify for the wage subsidy, full time paid positions must be provided for a minimum of six months.
Common and relevant green positions include, but are not limited to: Environmental Technician, Water Quality Analyst, Air Quality Analyst, etc. You can find specific information about these positions through the occupational profiles on MiHR’s website.
Qualifying organizations must be Canadian-owned or a Canadian subsidiary, small, medium or large companies, post-secondary educational institutions or not-for-profit organizations.
Eligible interns must be graduates from a post-secondary program, between the ages of 18 and 30 (inclusive), Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada and legally allowed to work according to relevant provincial and federal regulations. Interns also must be available to work full-time for at least six months, and must be first time recipients of funding through the Youth Employment Strategy.
Benefits of a Green Job
MiHR will provide a wage subsidy to employers who create green positions in mining that meet these requirements. Employers can receive up to 50 per cent of their intern’s wage, up to a maximum of $12,000. This allows employers the opportunity to asses the employee’s abilities in their work environment before making any long-term hiring decisions.
The six to 12-month wage subsidy period helps employers onboard recent graduates as full-time employees, and gives graduates that secure internships adequate time to get a good feel for working in the mining industry and apply the skills they developed in school in a real-world setting. If graduates do not retain their jobs after completing their internships, the extensive work experience will give them an edge in their future job searches.
Exploring options: Virtual Career Fair
Although MiHR does not accept resumes directly, graduates can still gain insight on positions available through the Green Jobs Program – and possibly even apply for some – at MiHR’s upcoming Virtual Career Fair (VCF), happening on September 18 and 19, 2018, from 10 am to 7 pm EST.
The free, online career fair is open to anyone in Canada. Attendees will get the opportunity to network with hiring organizations, learn about the industry and apply for jobs, while employers and educational institutions can advertise job postings, programs and more.
MiHR’s last VCF took place in February, and was attended by 12 companies and over 850 job seekers. The September VCF will put a greater focus on Green Jobs in the mining industry, making it a great opportunity to gauge which environmental jobs are in high demand. Students, job seekers, employers and post-secondary institutions can register for the VCF at mihr.vfairs.com.
“Securing a job in your field after graduating can be very stressful,” says Jennifer Wright, Senior Director of Employment and Diversity Initiatives at MiHR. “The Green Jobs Program will help provide recent graduates with some opportunities to work in their field while gaining valuable, life-changing work experiences.”
Employers can visit MiHR’s website to apply to the Green Jobs Program today.
About this Author
As a not-for-profit organization, the mandate of MiHR is to identify and address the HR and labour market challenges facing the Canadian minerals and metals sector. They collaborate with mining and exploration companies, organized labour, contractors, educational institutions, industry associations and Aboriginal groups.