Oct 07, 2019

Rising concerns on future mining workforce

Rising concerns on future mining workforce

Concerns about having enough workers with the right skills have rocketed to No. 2 in a shortlist of business risks for the mining industry.

The findings came in EY’s Top 10 Business Risks and Opportunities – 2020 survey of of more than 150 mining executives.

Licence to operate remained No.1 on the shortlist, with 44 per cent of global mining companies ranking it as the biggest risk to their business.

Risks relating to the future of the mining workforce rose from seventh position last year to second place in the 2019 ranking.

“The mining sector is currently grappling with what the future workforce looks like and how to make the transition,” EY Global Mining and Metals Leader Paul Mitchell said.

“Indeed, a recent EY study found that 77 per cent of occupations across the sector are set to be enhanced or redesigned by 2030 because of technological advancements.

“By better understanding the future skills required, miners will be able to strategically plan their workforce and sustain their competitive advantage in global markets. Businesses should start by defining where they want to get to and begin planning now.”

Digital effectiveness remains a top concern, moving down from second place to third this year.

EY said the 2020 ranking also saw four new entrants:

  1. Reducing cost of carbon: The transition to a low-carbon economy is underway and the pressure to accelerate this transition seems to grow every day.
  2. High-impact risks: Company-destroying risks that may be low frequency and less visible tend to be rare and, as a result, may not be examined. However, some of these risks may be catastrophic in terms of value destruction.
  3. Replacement of production: Miners grapple with how to meet future demand, in light of the challenges of opening new mines and depleting resources.
  4. Innovation: Given the lack of R&D spending across the sector, innovation could be a huge opportunity for first movers.

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