Canadian Manufacturing

Natural resources industry is falling behind in attracting talent, according to BDO report

Gen Z are turning away from careers in traditional natural resources sectors including oil & gas and mining.

March 24, 2022   by CM Staff

TORONTO — Natural resources companies are finding it increasingly difficult to attract a new generation into the workforce and need to do more to align their recruitment strategies with Gen Z’s expectations and aspirations, according to new research by accounting and business advisory organization, BDO. The first-ever report highlights why Gen Z is skeptical about a career in the industry and provides learnings from natural resources companies that have been most successful in navigating the challenging recruitment market.

The global survey captures 757 perspectives on the natural resources sector from industry leaders, high school students and university students in five major markets, including 176 respondents from Canada. Gen Z is increasingly holding employers to high ethical standards, favouring factors such as work-life balance, diversity in the workplace, and positive social and environmental impact in their career decision-making.

“The survey results show that there is both challenge and opportunity ahead for the attraction and retention of young talent within natural resources in Canada,” says Stephen Payne, Advisory Partner, Energy & Natural Resources Leader at BDO Canada. “To bridge the talent gap, natural resources organizations will need to not only align more closely with ESG and sustainability objectives but also develop an achievable roadmap that extends beyond compliance.”

According to the research, nearly half (42%) of natural resources organizations globally say they find it difficult to attract and retain early-career professionals. It also shows Gen Z are turning away from careers in traditional natural resources sectors including oil & gas and mining. Only one in five (21%) Canadian students are considering a career in the industry, with a large majority stating they are not interested in mining (74%) or oil & gas (68%).

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