Mining faces serious skilled labour shortages

Shortage of skilled labour

The Cache Creek Economic Development Committee met with a number of neighbouring mining industry reps this past week for a round table session where they learned of the serious skilled labour shortages being faced by the industry.

It’s a situation that is going to worsen in the years ahead if something isn’t done to raise some interest in the career opportunities right across the board and creating attractive nearby communities in which workers will want to live and raise their families.

Even though mining is the second largest industry in province, and UBC and BCIT are turning out engineers and tradesmen, there are still too few graduating students are taking a serious look at the opportunities for employment, mine managers told the committee.

HVC faces significant retirement numbers

At Highland Valley Copper, manager Chris Dechert pointed out that Canada will have a shortage of about 100,000 mine workers in en years. Right at the present time, HVC is concerned about the pressing need for an experienced work force to replace their some 400 employees who will be eligible to retire in just a little over two years.

There are 1220 employees and 300 contractors with good paying positions and jobs at the present time, which is very significant to the economy of the area.

The mine will also be looking at modernization of their flotation system, a $200-$500 million investment which will have the potential to create some 500 construction jobs over a two year period.

The mine’s life has been extended to 2020 and beyond, if the price of copper holds into the future.

New Gold preparing for production

The New Gold Mine expects to go into production in about six weeks, with a mine life of about 14 years.

They have some 330 employees, 82 per cent are BC residents and the mine has underground and surface contractors.

The competition for skilled workers has resulted in the creation of an internal training program

Ajax Mine under environmental review

The Ajax deposit, on Kamloops doorstep, is undergoing federal and provincial environmental assessments at the present time.

Our significant concern at this time is the mine’s proximity to Kamloops.  If it gets the go ahead, it too will be looking at some 1000 workers during construction and some 400 employees during production.

The EcDev committee members went away fro the meeting with good information to consider in their planning in the days and weeks ahead.

The Committee was formed in order to investigate diversity and move away from total dependency on the single industry  major in the area, the Cache Creek Landfill which is facing an uncertain future.

Attending the meeting with Cache Creek’s committee members: Mayor John Ranta, Councillors Darrell Rawcliffe, Jim Loucks and Ida Makaro, Chamber reps Ben Roy and Don Hillyard, were guests: Chris Dechert, Highland Valley Copper; Ron Allum, New Gold (New Afton); John Froese, Abacus (Ajax Mine) Glen Duggan, Cache Creek Machine Shop; Debbie Arnott, Sun Country Community Futures; Deb Biddiscombe, Knucwentwec Development Society, Dan Sulz, Venture Kamloops and Robyn Carle, NDIT.

 

 

Just Posted

Crews are battling a fire near Ashcroft. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Crews battling grass fire above CP tracks near Ashcroft

Fire started around 9:30 a.m. and is moving through sagebrush away from town

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Industrial park slated for Watch Lake Road

Building company Omnitek to start building new plant on 32-acre site

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Most Read