Mines Minister Says Skilled Workers Needed In The Northwest's Booming Mining Industry


BC's Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett believes mining exploration is only growing in the Northwest and along with it -- the demand for skilled workers.

"You have about 40 per cent of all of the exploration that takes place in British Columbia in the Northwest. Last year was about $200 million in exploration and the year before it was about $280 million," he said. "So we are going to see some new mines in the Northwest, and getting people to work in those mines and actually to build those mines is becoming increasingly difficult."

Bennett made these comments when he arrived in Smithers on Friday for this year's Mine Rescue competition.

He added that this demand for skilled workers is why the Liberal government has re-tooled its education model to focus on jobs and skills training.

"We're trying to respond to that, but it will be a challenge in the next 20 years in the province if our economy continues to grow the way that we think we're going to," he said.