Over 79,000 jobs in Canadian mining industry need to be filled over next decade — report

Workers are encouraged not to return to mines without adequate safety standards. (File image)

Competition for skilled workers within the Canadian mining industry is already fierce, and with companies in other countries also actively recruiting Canadian graduates and workers, it creates a significant skills gap in the sector, according to The Mining Association of Canada’s latest report.  

Canada’s mining industry is worth C$47 billion, with C$29.6 billion concentrated in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, The State of Canada’s Mining Industry, Facts and Figures 2019 found.

The country has shown upward signs of recovery in exploration investment in recent years in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, with a leveling out in Nunavut after some buoyant years: $91 million in the Northwest Territories, $99 million in Nunavut and $99 million in the Yukon. 


Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council

Together, the industry’s direct and indirect employment exceeds 626,000 jobs, accounting for one in every 30 jobs in Canada. The industry will need to hire 79,680 new workers over the next decade, and this workforce shortage is compounded by the wave of the industry’s skilled core of workers who are retiring. 

By 2030, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) forecasts that more than 57,000 employees will retire from the sector, which represents over 25% of the industry’s current workforce by MiHR definitions. 

The federal government has taken some steps to help address these problems, including through the expansion of the Youth Employment Strategy, the proposed Post-Secondary Industry Partnership and Co-operative Placement Initiative, and continued funding for the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ISETS). 

MiHR has also benefited from programmatic support, specifically in developing critical research to inform industry actions to address its human resources challenges and meet its employment needs. 

Read the full report here.