Inaugural Report Explores Potential Impact of Technology and Automation on Canada’s Mining Workforce

June 4, 2020

Following a two-year study on the potential future impact of technology, automation and innovation on the Canadian mining workforce, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural report The Changing Nature of Work: Innovation, Automation and Canada’s Mining Workforce. 

“Developed in pursuit of MiHR’s vision to build an inclusive, skilled and sustainable Canadian mining workforce, this research study will help mining stakeholders increase their understanding of shifting skills requirements as the adoption of innovative technologies continues to change the industry,” said MiHR’s Executive Director Ryan Montpellier. 

Launched today during an interactive webinar with Ryan Montpellier, with presentations by Erin Mills, MiHR’s director of HR research and labour market intelligence and Jamie Wolcott, MiHR’s chief labour market economist, the report discusses the primary motivations for adopting new technologies in Canadian mining operations which include increased worker health and safety, improved environmental sustainability, cost reduction and productivity. While the benefits of adopting new technologies are considered, the report delves into the impact on the workforce and identifies workers who are most vulnerable to increased demand for higher skills, training and education. In-depth interviews were conducted with over 125 key mining stakeholders to qualify and validate research data. 

 The report also unveils MiHR’s Occupational Vulnerability Index (MOVI), a composite score that gauges how susceptible certain occupations are to the negative effects of technological disruption. The MOVI allows employers, governments and training providers to assess which workers will be the most at risk of disruption and identify those who would most benefit from training resources to help adapt to new technologies. 

“Using the MOVI framework, we are able to quantify and compare mining occupations’ relative exposure to technological disruption, including the unique risk factors that contribute to the MOVI score of each occupation,” said Wolcott. “We also investigated how emerging technologies have the potential to reshape the set of skills required from the workforce of the future.” 

Click here to access a digital copy of The Changing Nature of Work: Innovation, Automation and Canada’s Mining Workforce. 

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