International Minerals Innovation Institute

The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) is excited to announce the release of the Workforce of the Future: Critical Skills in Saskatchewan’s Minerals Industry report. This report is the result of the first special project undertaken by IMII, on behalf of its members, in response to its Digital Mining Transformation Initiative, which ran from 2018 to 2019.

“The Digital Mining Transformation Initiative found that as digital technologies transform how mine and mills operate, the composition and level of specialization within the workforce will change,” says Al Shpyth, IMII’s Executive Director. “As a result, defining 21st century competencies and skills for Saskatchewan’s minerals increasingly digital workforce has become a priority for IMII and its members. This report is our first effort at identifying such competencies and the ways by which new skills can be acquired.”

Key report findings include:

  • The successful adoption and deployment of digital technologies to increase safety and productivity will depend on an educated workforce;
  • As the future of work changes, so must the future of education; and
  • The response will require new approaches and new partnerships among and between the minerals industry, post-secondary institutions, and government.

As such, the report makes two principal recommendations to support the digitization of the industry and help equip the workforce of the future:

  • Tri-Partite Collaboration – A mechanism to facilitate collaboration and alignment should be explored to create programs that promote career awareness, ensure students are provided with the appropriate skillset and level of experience prior to graduating. Additionally, efforts should be spent developing programs geared towards career awareness in elementary, secondary and post-secondary institutions to develop a robust interest in mining careers for years to come.
  • Micro-Credentialing – By enabling improved and innovative partnerships between educational institutions and mining organizations, the industry can move beyond conventional curriculum towards nimble educational strategies. Micro-credentialing programs would allow for the development of a modern curriculum to meet the needs of variety of stakeholders and emerging technologies.

To download a copy of the report, visit

Download a pdf version of the release.