- Canada’s Mining Industry
- Mining Labour Market
- Before You Come to Canada
- Preparing to Work in Mining in Canada
- Finding a Job in Canada
- Additional Resources
There are approximately 800 mining operations in Canada, producing more than 60 minerals and metals. The industry contributes nearly 5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and accounts for 19% of Canada’s total exports.
Mining products provide many essential consumer goods and much of the infrastructure that Canadians rely on daily—highways, electrical and communications networks, and housing, to name a few. Sophisticated equipment and leading-edge technology contribute to the efficiency and safety of Canadian mining operations.
The average age of the mining workforce is over 45 years, compared to the national average of 41 years. In addition, the proportion of the workforce over 50 is two to five times greater than that under 30.
As these workers retire new employees will be needed to take their place. Current estimates indicate that the mining industry will need thousands of additional workers in the coming decade and beyond.
There are many important things you can do to improve your chances of success before you come to Canada.
The FCRO provides resources such as the Planning to Work in Canada? workbook and the Working in Canada Tool. Use these resources to find and collect important career information and to develop your job search plan.
Language is a key factor for career success in Canada. You will need to prove your language skills in English or French. This may require that you be tested. If you need to improve your language skills, start before you come to Canada.
After you arrive in Canada, find immigrant services in your area including language training, job-search help and, in some cases, job placements.
Your official education, work, and identity documents are important. It is much easier for you to gather your documents while still in your home country.
It is recommended that you obtain your documents in English or French, if possible. If your documents are not in English or French, you will need to have them translated.
The Canadian mining sector employed approximately 351,400 in 2008. A job in mining can provide a good salary, steady work, and is an excellent opportunity to make a living in Canada.
Jobs in the mining industry are very diverse. From blasters, diamond drillers, and excavators; to mining, mineral processing and electrical engineers to geologist, environmental technicians, finance, and health and safety, mining is an exciting sector to work in!
Regulation or Certification
Certain jobs in the mining industry, such as engineers and certain skilled trades (e.g., electricians), are considered regulated occupations in Canada. This means you must have a Canadian licence or certificate to work in the field. Each province or territory is typically responsible for setting the requirements for these regulated occupations. If you are trained in a regulated occupation you should verify the regulatory requirements with the province or territory in which you plan to live. The Working in Canada tool can help you identify if your specific career choice is regulated, and the correct regulatory body or accreditation board to contact for detailed licensing information.
If you are not in a regulated occupation, discretion about hiring requirements and standards are left to the individual employer. It is a good idea to bring along any documents you might have that show record of your past training, employment and experience. Always check with the employer to know what is required.
MiHR is currently developing the Canadian Mining Credentials Program (CMCP). In order to be successful in this program, candidates must complete a certain number of on the job hours as well as successfully demonstrate the content of MiHR’s National Occupation Standards (NOS) for their occupation.
Job descriptions for non-regulated mining occupations may differ significantly depending on the type of mining, the location and the employer. The distribution of tasks among employees is determined by the structure of the specific mining operation and each employer’s preferences.
If you are applying to a non-regulated mining job, pay close attention to each employer’s specific skill requirements. Look at job postings from a variety of employers and types of mines to determine where your unique skill set will fit best. If you are uncertain whether you meet the requirements of a specific job, get clarification from the employer.
MiHR is working with the industry to establish a system for certification of workers in certain occupations in the mining industry, based on MiHR’s existing and future National Occupational Standards (NOS). The CMCP will certify workers in the mining sector in order to provide recognized, portable credentials that will help employees work anywhere in Canada with greater ease. The launch is planned for early 2011.
Training programs in mining also vary significantly across the country. If you need to upgrade your skills, seek program recommendations from several employers to determine which program best suits their needs.
As a job seeker in the mining industry it is important to understand the career opportunities. The Explore for More website is a great resource to help you navigate the mining industry and find tools that will help you succeed. Available resources include career videos, employee profiles, the Student-on-the-Job Board and the Virtual MineMentor Program.