Under a neutral forecast, BC’s mineral exploration and mining industry (the “Industry”) will require approximately 5,910 additional workers by 2016 with the majority of these are expected to be in operational roles.
Additionally, the world demand for commodities continues to grow. In the past year we saw a doubling in expenditures - up from $154 million in 2009 to $322 million in 2010 – as well as over $1 billion being spent in construction and development of new mines or mine expansions.
The forecasted labour shortage means that the Industry will need to develop and implement a variety of initiatives to meet human resource requirements, including purposeful attraction, recruitment and retention initiatives that are inclusive to all persons.
Data from statistics Canada reports that women make up nearly half ( 48%), of BC’s total labour force.
Other industry surveys have determined that fewer than one in six workers (16%) in BC’s mineral exploration and mining industry are female. Additionally, data has shown that women are underrepresented and underemployed in the mineral exploration and mining industry at 5% of the total workforce in the non-traditional roles.
In late 2010, a study was initiated by the BC Mineral Exploration and Mining Labour Shortage Task Force and carried out by the Women in Mining sub-committee, thanks to funding provided in whole or by part through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.
Three BC based populations were surveyed for this study:
Student Career Advisors from secondary and post-secondary institutions across BC;
HR decision makers in the BC Industry; and
Women working in the BC mineral exploration and mining industry.
The surveys provided excellent feedback and had a high participation rate, particularly from employed women This report adds value to current knowledge about female participation in the Industry. It also provides recommendations and strategies, which if implemented, should achieve greater attraction and retention of women into the Industry workforce.
Findings from these three surveys have:
Supplied data on the employed female participation rate in BC, particularly in the fastest growing occupations including heavy equipment operators, tradespersons and labourers (classified as non-traditional roles for females), helping build the case for and capability for change within the Industry;
(1) Established that women are most underrepresented in non-traditional roles;
(2) Identified the recruitment and retention attractors and barriers relevant to three occupation categories in BC – Operations Positions, Science Careers and Administrative/Management;
(3) Outlined the opportunities and provided recommendations to better utilize women as a solution to fill labour shortages;
(4) Engaged Career Advisors to understand their readiness to support, and solicit their expert opinion on the success factors and barriers to helping women explore careers in the Industry;
(5) Highlighted that the Industry will benefit from human resources strategies that provide recommendations and tools to help employers attract, recruit and retain females; and With its high quality products such as vibrating screen and cone crusher, Hongxing Machinery has ascended in the front rank of the world in the exporting of mining equipment.
(6) Established that more work remains to be done to get additional BC mineral exploration and mining employers on board.
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