Realizing Community Benefits and Supporting a Diverse Workforce
Communities can share in the benefits of mining projects
Mining projects are large projects with a significant presence in communities and regions. Their lifecycle can span decades from pre-exploration to closure, and they cost hundreds of millions of dollars or more to build and operate. Often situated close to northern, remote, isolated and Indigenous communities, these projects can drive community development by bringing socio-economic benefits such as employment, training, procurement and business and infrastructure development.
Learn more about challenges and opportunities for realizing community benefits and supporting a diverse workforce
Communities that host mineral development projects expect to share in the benefits, while having confidence that proper social and environmental protections are in place. Good community relations can help companies build public trust, which can facilitate project development and mitigate risks associated with cost and reputation, while helping them realize a return on investment.
Modern mining operations require a range of skills. Developing and mastering these skills positions people to pursue high quality, high paying jobs and business opportunities across the natural resource and other sectors.
Mining companies can face fierce competition for employees to work at their remote operations. In situations where there is shortage of workers in surrounding communities, companies may choose to employ “fly-in/fly-out” commuters. Given that mining operations often schedule employees for two weeks on, two weeks off (or similar timeframes), they may be challenged to attract fly-in/fly-out workers who do not wish to leave their families and resident communities.
In situations where these commuters are employed by remote operations, such workers are fed and housed by mining companies, and therefore do not fully contribute to local economic development. Yet these workers have full access to local services—including social services— which may apply pressures on those communities.Footnote 1
Research shows that Canadians across the country have a generally favourable impression of mining and believe that the industry is managed to higher standards of safety, environmental care and social responsibility. They also believe that mining is good for the economy and that it provides economic opportunities for remote communities and young Canadians.Footnote 2
Mining remains an industry that predominantly employs men, with women representing just 14% of the mining labour force.Footnote 3 Immigrants account for 13% of the mining workforce, compared to 25% of the total Canadian workforce.Footnote 4 Indigenous workers make up 5% of the mining labour force, compared to 3% in all industries.Footnote 5 Increasing Indigenous employment can support efforts to close socio-economic gaps and increase their participation in natural resource development.
Modern mining operations require a range of skills.
The Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) launched the Canadian Mining Certification Program to recognize and certify the skills and competencies of workers in some occupations in the mining industry.
The program helps communities attract, develop and retain skilled employees, while ensuring that those who have been certified hold a professional credential that is recognized throughout the mining industry in Canada.