Mining labour shortage coming in next 10 years

Canada is poised for a big labour shortfall in the mining field — and Sudbury is not immune.

Mining Industry Human Resource Council, Canadian Institute of Mining looking at options

An industry report last year estimated that one quarter of current workers in Canadian mining will be eligible to retire by 2023.

Canada is poised for a big labour shortfall in the mining field — and Sudbury is not immune.

According to the Mining Industry Human Resource Council, there could be a need for 150 to 200 thousand workers by 2023.

The head of the MIHR said the organization is coming up with strategies to make up for the gap.

"Based on our forecasting, Sudbury will need about 20,000 new workers between now and the next 10 years," Ryan Montpellier said.

"So really, we'll need about 2,000 new people per year for the mining industry — due to some growth, but primarily due to replacement demand, or people leaving towards retirement." 

A recent industry report estimated that 25 per cent of current workers in Canadian mining will be eligible to retire by 2023.

Getting a handle on 'global requirements'

Meanwhile, the Canadian Institute of Mining is working on a new campaign to address the threat of a labour shortage in the global mining industry.

The executive director of the CIM said Canada could be short 100,000 workers in the next decade.

"Right now, the industry doesn't have a good enough handle on the global requirements,” Jean Vavrek said.

“We're finding our universities and our industry getting poached from outside Canada."

Vavrek also cited the aging workforce as a major issue.

For the campaign, the CIM is working with partner organizations in countries like Australia, South Africa and the UK, who are reporting similar labour problems.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.