We Need Mining. Mining Needs You.
Canada’s mining industry is once more facing skills shortages stemming from high retirement levels, industry growth, skills gaps, and a lack of interest in mining-related careers among youth. In 2022, the Canadian mining sector added over 25,000 new jobs representing a 47 per cent growth rate in employment in the sector, yet there are approximately 10,000 vacancies (unfilled jobs) in mining today and post-secondary undergraduate mining engineering enrolment is down over 50 per cent since 2015.
MiHR created the ‘We Need Mining. Mining Needs You.’ career awareness campaign in 2021 – anchored by the Mining Needs You website – as a direct response to these challenges. The website showcases the necessity of mining, innovative technologies used in the sector, industry commitment to environmental sustainability and equity, diversity, and inclusion, and how extracted minerals and metals are used in everyday life. It enables youth to discover what modern mining looks like, its necessity to a low carbon economy, and where they can fit and succeed in the industry.
Mining needs industry ambassadors
We Need Mining. Mining Needs You. requires industry collaboration to increase youth interest in mining careers and transform industry perceptions. To help shape the future mining workforce, the campaign includes several initiatives including its Career Ambassador Program.
Launched in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) in 2022, the We Need Mining. Mining Needs You. Career Ambassador Program raises awareness among diverse youth and key influencers about the career opportunities mining offers and the sector’s role in environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and technological innovation.
It connects knowledgeable and enthusiastic Career Ambassadors to youth through in person and virtual speaking engagements to increase awareness, improve perceptions, and encourage pursuit of careers in mining.
Career Ambassadors volunteer to participate in the program and are selected based on their knowledge of the sector and their passion and dedication to its innovative and progressive future. They receive benefits such as enhanced profile within MiHR and CIM publications, websites, and social media platforms – and formal recognition on an annual basis in the CIM Magazine.
Industry representatives can join MiHR and CIM in engaging diverse youth and organizations in mining career awareness by applying to become Career Ambassadors at https://www.miningneedsyou.ca/career-ambassador-program/.
Future mining talent needs support
In connection with the career awareness campaign and in support of future mining talent, the five-year I Chose Mining. Mining Chose Me. Scholarship Program launched in 2021 to celebrate MiHR’s 25th anniversary. It is awarding ten, $2,500 scholarships to post-secondary students in mining-related programs between 2021 and 2025. The most recent recipients, Emma Dodyk and Zivi Schaffer, are studying a Master of Engineering – Mining Engineering, Mining Environment, and Sustainably at the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Science Degree, Environmental Geoscientist Candidate at Trent University, respectively. You can watch their application videos to learn more about them, as well as past winners on MiHR’s YouTube channel.
Educational Institutions, mining employers, and associations are encouraged to promote the scholarships to students and share program information on social media and with their various networks. MiHR promotes the scholarship on its social media channels and directly with post-secondary institutions that offer mining related programs.
The deadline to apply for the 2023 scholarships is September 30, 2023. Full program details are available at https://www.miningneedsyou.ca/scholarships/.
Show Canada’s youth that mining needs them
Attracting, recruiting, and developing the next generation of workers is vital to mining’s sustainability and growth. Initiatives like the Career Ambassador and Scholarship programs and industry’s involvement in them are crucial to solving the mining industry’s labour market challenges. Mining employers, associations and educational institutions can help identify potential Career Ambassadors, identify organizations and locations for Ambassador presentation deliveries, and help promote the Scholarship Program.
It is imperative that we as an industry work to correct historical perceptions and inform youth of mining’s role in a clean economy and what it means to be part of this rewarding and important workforce. We need mining, and mining needs you to help inspire Canada’s next generation of mining workers.
Reach out to MiHR today at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to discuss opportunities to work together as we deliver solutions for the sector’s tightening labour market.
About the Author
As Director, Marketing and Communications, William Meyer is responsible for planning and providing strategic direction to effectively promote and build awareness of MiHR and its programs, projects and services. A strategic, results-oriented communications professional, William has nearly 15 years’ experience in the non-profit, association and government sectors – and has served as the head of communications for two industry associations. William also leads the development and implementation of marketing and communications activities that support all aspects of MiHR’s strategic plan.
MiHR is Canada’s knowledge centre for mining labour market intelligence. An independent, non-profit organization, MiHR drives collaboration among mining and exploration companies, organized labour, contractors, educational institutions, industry associations and Indigenous groups to identify opportunities and address the human resource and labour market challenges facing the Canadian minerals and metals sector.