In March, it was widely reported that the mining industry was losing jobs globally. According to a Quarterly Employment Survey observed by PoliticsWeb in South Africa, 29,000 miners lost their jobs between December 2014 and December 2015. In the United States, 12,400 mining jobs were lost in March 2016 alone according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April, it was reported that 29,000 manufacturing jobs were lost from September 2014 as well.
Now, the Canadian Mining Journal is reporting that Canada’s mining industry is also under pressure. According to the website, “40% of mining sector employees are 50 years old” and a third of them are retiring in 2022.
Therefore, Canada is preparing itself for a lack of skilled professionals in the mining sector. The claim is that universities are cutting down on university programs that involve metallurgical engineering and programs that assist professionals in the mining sector.
The worry from the Canadian government is that the “youngest Millenials and the following generation” will struggle to fill positions in the mining sector.
The Mining Industry Human Resources Council wrote a report named Canadian Engineers for Tomorrow- Trends in Engineering Enrolment and Degrees Awarded 2009-2013 and found that students that graduated between 2011 and 2016 “are or will be experiencing difficulty” in getting entry level jobs or internships.
Due to the amount of jobs lost in the mining sector in South Africa, a fresh wave of protests could collapse the industry. BNP Paribas Securities economist, Jeff Shultz, talking to BDLive, said, “A strike would provide yet another damaging blow to the sector, which is still struggling to recover from the crippling industrial action that brought it to a standstill in 2014, and further jeopardise the already highly fragile state of employment in the industry this year.”