White Paper: Education and Industry – Addressing the mining skills gap

The mining industry needs talent.

For nearly two decades, the industry has faced an increasingly pressing skills deficit. Rapid decline in student interest in mining, an ageing workforce, industry downturns, the loss of key educational programmes, mining’s reputation and the popularity of other industries, among other reasons have amplified this problem in recent years.

A lack of skilled professionals could cause considerable repercussions not only in mining but also in related industries which require raw materials and energy.

A lack of skilled employees and leaders in the mining industry could impact the global economy, which relies on minerals for everything from computers and mobile phones to vehicles.

Recognising the importance and immediacy of this issue, in this new white paper, Education and Industry – Addressing the mining skills gap, Swann sets out to better understand the challenges faced by educational institutions in attracting and retaining students for mining courses. We also look at the expectations and future needs of the mining industry.

We conducted phone interviews and surveys with academics and industry professionals in the UK, US, Canada and Australia to gain insight into the challenges, approaches and potential ways to remedying the skills shortage.

This report summarises our findings, bringing together existing analysis on the subject with information gleaned from our discussions and surveys. We suggest several steps to ensure mining education is supported and better connected to industry.

Collaboration is at the heart of all of them.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback on this paper, as we continue to work with universities and employers to ensure a thriving future for both.

Dr Emily Goetsch and Nona Sichinava

Download: Education and Industry – Addressing the mining skills gap.

Cover of Swann's mining education report
Click the image to download the report