The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada and The Mining Industry Human Resources Council recommend that Canada’s exploration industry improve student field training programs to heighten recruitment and retention of geoscientists. PDAC and MiHR recently released a study on the impact of post-secondary field experience on the flow of talent from education in the geosciences to the mineral exploration industry, which identified four key areas the industry should focus on to attract and retain geosciences graduates.
“The Canadian mining industry will need to fill close to 140,000 mining-related jobs within the next decade,” says Ross Gallinger, PDAC’s Executive Director. “The skilled labour shortage we’re facing as an industry is real. Recruiting and retaining geosciences graduates will play an important role in closing the skills gap in the sector.”
The objective of the research was to investigate the impacts of field experience on the flow, recruitment and retention of talent from education in geosciences to the mineral industry. The study urges the Canadian mineral industry to prioritize the four key areas; improve current field training programs, strengthen industry and education collaboration, address problematic field work culture, as well as mid-career attrition to recruit geosciences graduates into the field. The full report on the study and its findings can be found on PDAC’s website, Effects of Field Experience on Recruitment and Retention of Geoscientists in Mineral Exploration.
“In 2007 we saw a need to encourage more people into the geosciences to pursue a career in mineral exploration and improve the overall health of the industry by increasing interaction between students and industry professionals,” says Gallinger. “Up until now our focus has been on attracting more students into the industry, but now our sector needs to look at expanding our educational initiatives to recruit and retain graduates to address the skills shortage.”
One of the PDAC’s skills shortage initiatives is the annual Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop (S-IMEW). Lead by over 60 volunteer industry experts in the exploration and mining sector, it exposes 26 post-secondary geosciences students to all aspects of the mineral exploration industry and gives them a practical and business perspective of mineral exploration that is not available inside the classroom.
About the PDAC
The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry. The PDAC has more than 10,000 individual and corporate members, and encourages the highest standards of technical, environmental, safety and social practices in Canada and around the world. The PDAC also hosts the mineral industry’s largest annual convention in downtown Toronto. The PDAC 2014 Convention will take place from March 2 to March 5.
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