Barbara Kirby

Distinguished Lecturer 2010-11

Barbara Kirby is the senior director of workforce development at the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) where she leads key initiatives that contribute to the skills recognition and mobility of Canadian mining workers. Since 2006, her work with MiHR has focused on developing the Canadian Mining Credentials Program (CMCP) and in early 2011, the first group of certified miners was awarded nationally recognized credentials (an industry first).

In a career spanning several decades, Kirby's efforts have primarily focused on forging strong relationships between industry and education, both in Canada and in developing countries. She has authored numerous articles on skills, learning and mobility in the Canadian mining industry, and has been an invited speaker at many related events. Formerly the manager of accreditation and certification at the Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council, Kirby holds a master's degree in economics from the University of Guelph.

As Distinguished Lecturers Barbara Kirby and Jim Utley will present:
Canadian Mining Credentials Program – Certification: Recognizing and Retaining Skills

The latest research report distributed by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) estimates that between now and 2020, the industry will need to hire approximately 100,000 workers to support growth in the industry and replace retiring workers. Approximately 20 per cent of these new hires will be required in skilled occupations that have, up until now, lacked a national recognition system; these occupations include production miners, development miners, heavy equipment operators and mill operators. The Canadian Mining Credentials Program will change this through the recognition of skills and competencies, worker mobility and the creation of consistent, quality training for the mining and minerals exploration industry in Canada.

This presentation will focus on the complex collaborative effort required to design and develop this program, key observations from the pilot sites, and why the program forms an essential part of the industry strategy to address the looming labour shortage. The credentials program, six years in development, will not only positively impact the dynamics of worker mobility and recognition, but will now form the basis for certifying other unrecognized occupations, as prioritized by industry.

CIM Foundation logo