Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

May 14, 2008 14:30 ET

AME BC-Wanted: 15,000 Employees for BC's Mineral Exploration and Mining Sector

Mineral Exploration & Mining Labour Market Task Force Releases Human Resources Strategy

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 14, 2008) - The BC Mineral Exploration and Mining Labour Market Task Force released a human resources strategy today to attract 15,000 workers to the mineral exploration and mining sector. The release took place at the BC Mining Week Community Fair in Vancouver. "A perfect storm of economic expansion, declining birth rates, and aging of the workforce has hit the mineral exploration and mining sector hard, just as it is experiencing significant growth," said David Bazowski, chair of the task force, which includes employee representatives, employers, First Nations, industry associations, sector councils, and both the federal and provincial governments. "There is enormous competition in attracting employees both within British Columbia and in other jurisdictions, and we need a strong human resources strategy for our industry to reach its potential."

The Labour Market Task Force estimates that 15,000 additional workers will be needed in the next decade in BC. The labour shortage in the mineral exploration and mining sector has been fuelled by a significant reduction in both workers and training during a period of decline in the 1990s. The aging of the workforce is another factor in the labour shortage - the average age group of workers active in mineral exploration and mining is 45 to 54 years, and the average retirement age is around 60.

"Our industry can provide high-paying jobs in the communities affected by the slowdown in the forestry sector," said Bazowski. "The mining sector pays the highest wages in the province with salaries and benefits averaging $101,900. Through our human resources strategy, we look forward to bringing increased benefits to First Nations and communities throughout BC as well as increasing the participation of women, immigrants, and other underrepresented individuals in the labour force. The human resources strategy is an excellent opportunity to ensure a sustainable mining sector in the province."

About the BC Mineral Exploration and Mining Labour Market Task Force
The BC Mineral Exploration and Mining Labour Market Task Force includes all stakeholders affected by the pending labour shortage. It includes employee representatives, employers, First Nations, industry associations, sector councils, and both the federal and provincial governments.

The Task Force graciously acknowledges the financial and professional support of Service Canada.

Further information about the Human Resources Strategy including a summary brochure and backgrounder is available at www.amebc.ca/taskforce.htm.

Contact Information

  • BC Mineral Exploration and Mining Labour Market Task Force
    David Bazowski
    Chair
    Cell: (250) 202-1051