Part of the Future of Mining Series presented by:
The Canadian mining industry touches many communities from coast to coast to coast. It is especially present in more remote locales in Canada’s north and in Indigenous communities. It also employs a significant workforce, both from within those communities and in large urban centres. However, the industry must adapt and refine its approach to two challenges. In the face of a labour shortage and an increasingly tech-driven industry, it must adjust its approach to how it diversifies, trains and up-skills its workforce. And with increasing recognition and obligation to secure First Nation buy-in for projects in their pre-planning phase, mining companies must improve their relationships with these key partners.
This spotlight explores the above themes to define what the Canadian mining industry of the future must look like in terms of community, workforce and Indigenous engagement.
Key Takeaways & Calls to Action
- Mining companies have to work with academia to design effective career development paths for students. The mining industry’s leaders need to step forward to develop the next generation of the sector’s workforce and shift their talent acquisition strategies to a continuous-learning model; one that engages with promising talent early—as early as high school students.
- Ottawa and the provinces need to create financial incentives to encourage mining companies to hire more women and raise their participation in the sector from 17% of the workforce to 30% by 2030 through programs and initiatives. This would almost double the participation of women in the Canadian mining industry in roughly a decade.
- To build a successful partnership with First Nations, mining companies must engage with them from the very beginning. By recognizing and respecting their rights and interests, mining companies will have a very real economic impact. On the flip side, if their trust is not earned, First Nations will avoid interaction, making it difficult to build anything, solve problems or get started on resource development.
- A paradigm shift has taken place in aboriginal communities. Indigenous leaders have moved away from simply wanting their communities to participate as members of the workforce for mining projects on their territories. Instead, they are now looking for the mining industry to participate with them fully as board members and owners of mining projects.