Mining's struggle to attract a new generation amid environmental concerns

The Canadian mining industry faces a talent crisis, with its image of 'dirty' work deterring potential recruits despite the growing demand for critical minerals.

Francesca Fionda reports for The Narwhal.


In short:

  • Fewer students are enrolling in mining and geology programs, creating a workforce shortage for an industry crucial to a low-carbon economy.
  • The industry's reputation for being environmentally damaging and physically demanding is turning young people away, despite efforts to improve safety and sustainability.
  • Educational initiatives and outreach aim to change perceptions, emphasizing mining's role in the green energy transition and the diverse, high-tech careers it offers.

Key quote:

"The industry really is a safe sector. It is doing a ton of work in the area of sustainability and in the area of responsible mining."

— Ryan Montpellier, executive director at the Mining Industry Human Resources Council

Why this matters:

Younger generations are increasingly concerned about environmental issues. They often perceive careers in mining and geology as contrary to their values focused on sustainability and environmental protection, despite the sector's crucial role in the green transition.

In the past few years, youth claimed more space in the climate change conversation. However, their participation in academic circles is still lacking.

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