The downturn in mining has not done much to help ease the shortage of skilled workers that the mining industry is expected to face in the coming years. In many regions worldwide one of the biggest challenges facing mining, is the ability to establish a sustainable supply of labor that is able to weather the ups and downs that the industry faces.

There has in reality, probably never been a better time to consider a career in mining in trades. With large amounts of workers in mining reaching retirement age, the demand for young skilled employees is going to be high. Because of the downturn in mining, many youth and students decided against following a career in mining given the volatility in the industry as they felt there may not be job security. For this reason there were not a lot of youth and students entering mining related programs at educational institutions, resulting in there not being a lot of skills coming up in the industry to replace those that are going to be retiring in the coming years.

According to a labor market report produced by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MIHRC) in Canada the recent age gaps for worker shortage in the next 10 years will run from roughly 10% for production workers, to 18% for skilled trades.

It seems as well that this problem is also not unique to Canada, and there are other regions in the world facing similar issues.

For those who are keen on trades, the mining industry may well be a great industry to consider a career in. With skills shortages in many areas of mining for those in trades, it is important for youth and students to be given the opportunity to explore career options for trade’s positions in mining.

There are other benefits to take into consideration when considering a job in mining; mainly that mining has in many regions always been an extremely high paying industry with more than 120 different jobs available within the industry. Mining is actually one of the highest paid industries. The average employee in trades in mining can earn substantially more than other industries, therefor making the mining industry an especially lucrative industry to work in, for those in trades.

The positions available for those in trades within mining are endless, and for those considering a career in mining, the following trades could be good options to consider:

  • Mechanic
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Steamfitter / Pipefitter
  • Electrician
  • Boilermaker
  • Instrumentation Technician
  • Carpenter
  • Plumber
  • Welder
  • Millwright

Apprenticeships and training programs are always available in mining, depending on what your trade is, you may also be able to upskill to a different trade, or to progress to a Leading Hand or Supervisory position within mining. The sky really is the limit.

Many youth and students are not aware of the role that trades can play in the mining industry and it is up to the educational institutions to work hand in hand with the mining industry to create awareness in terms of opportunities available for those considering trades in mining.

For those who love working with their hands, and have a passion for the mining industry, they can look forward to a great career that is highly paid and extremely rewarding, as well as have the opportunity of working and living all over the world.


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