Canadian Manufacturing

Labour crunch looms in Sask. mining sector

A report by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council estimates 3,600 people will retire in the next 10 years



SASKATOON—A new report on Saskatchewan’s mining industry says that companies will need to hire nearly 13,000 workers over the next decade.

The report by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council says 12 per cent of the mining workforce in the province is 55 and older, and estimates about 3,600 people will retire in the next 10 years.

The council adds that at the current pace, only 6,900 people are expected to join the industry.

Council spokeswoman Barbara Kirby says the gap between needed and projected workers has closed since 2011, but there are still some gaps that need to be addressed.

Pam Schwann of the Saskatchewan Mining Association says they need to look at strategies for retention.

She says one focus has to be on making sure a person who enters at the age of 25 can stay engaged in the sector until they hit 55 and are ready to retire.

The report also says that women and immigrants are underrepresented in the workforce, while aboriginal people make up about 10 per cent of the industry.

An employer survey that was developed as part of the study also says that engineers are among the top five most difficult positions to recruit.

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