Launching of tools to facilitate skills upgrading in the transition towards mining 4.0

Québec City, January 22, 2020 – The Québec Mining Association (QMA), the Comité sectoriel de main-d’œuvre de l’industrie des mines (CSMO Mines) and the Institut national des mines du Québec (INMQ) have joined forces to equip mining companies and other organizations with the tools they need to transition towards Mining 4.0 and help workers meet the new challenges involved. The tools now available will help them upgrade the digital skills of mine workers.

The transition towards highly-skilled specialized trades is an issue common to all mining companies, which are increasingly turning to new tools to move forward and take more advantage of the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0. Thanks to these new tools, mining companies and other organizations can continue to integrate new technologies into their daily operations by focusing on the training needs of their current workforce.

Tooling up for the transition

Phase 1 of the project involved creating an overview of digital applications in Québec’s mining industry, while Phase 2 created a reference framework for the skills needed in the digital era for eleven of the positions most affected by the transition. It also identified the key skills that need to be developed in order to hold those positions.

The overview and the reference framework provide a clearer view of the current situation as mining companies converge on Mining 4.0 and identify target skills. Phase 3 of the project involved creating a guide to the human resources management tools that can be applied to deal with the issues identified in Phases 1 and 2. The tools will provide assistance in workforce training and the hiring of new workers in the positions targeted.

The following tools are now available for companies and organizations: job descriptions and skill profiles, both for the present and for the future, question grids for behavioural interviews, training and skills development plans, and a guide for managing change in six steps in order to successfully integrate these inevitable changes.

« The shift from traditional mines to the mines we know today required workers to adapt. The same will apply to the digital transition. Although human beings will always be an essential part of the mining industry, it is important for the QMA to support its members in the success of this inevitable, and necessary, industrial revolution. »

– Josée Méthot, QMA president and CEO

« New approaches require new skills. The mining industry is undergoing a transformation, and a successful transition to the digital era will depend on adjustments to the way work is organized along with new digital skills. This is why it is important for the mining industry to become a proactive player in managing the digital shift. »

– Kathy Gauthier, director general, CSMO Mines

« Lifelong learning is essential to the success of an industrial sector such as mining. Taking ownership of new technologies, developing skills and using training to adapt to the changes introduced by Mining 4.0 is the best way to move forward and ensure the long-term viability of Québec’s mining industry. »

– Jean-François Pressé, president and CEO, INMQ