Recognizing and Retaining Talent: Mining Industry’s Certification Program

Abstract Attracting and retaining top talent is a priority in the mining industry. One of the key strategies for addressing this priority is to define a set of nationally recognized occupational standards and certify workers against them. Certifying workers to industry-defined standards ensures that the training, skills and experience of new and existing workers meet the needs of employers. Building a common understanding across Canada about previously unrecognized or loosely-defined occupations will help to support mobility of labour and facilitate recruitment of workers at new and existing mine sites.

Workers with trades designations such as electricians and millwrights hold a certificate of qualification (C of Q) that is recognized by employers across the country - yet there is no equivalent system to recognize skilled workers in the “undesignated” occupations such as miners or minerals processing operators. As a result, mining sector employers may struggle to assess the qualifications of experienced job candidates and may have to waste resources retraining new hires in areas where they have already demonstrated competency in the workplace.

Furthermore, the lack of a valid credential for some mining employees may lead to frustration and a lack of loyalty to the sector and their occupation. Workers with skills sets that are not recognized may seek opportunities elsewhere. From the point of view of youth, a pan-Canadian certification system would improve the attractiveness of mining occupations as viable, rewarding career options that have the potential for growth, advancement and promotion in the future.

This presentation will explore how the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) has been working with a group of stakeholders including employers, unions, educators and industry associations to build a system conducting workplace assessments and certifying workers who have demonstrated that their skills and knowledge meet or exceed the newly defined National Occupational Standards.
Keywords: Human Resources, Recruitment, retention, Certification, Training
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