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The Human Factor: Integrating Workforce Planning into the DNA of Mining Projects

The people planning needs for developing a new mine is more than just preparing a fully costed manpower plan. While estimating the number of personnel required and their costs is the main aspect, successful workforce planning for mining projects goes beyond this alone.

It involves a comprehensive assessment of the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to carry out various tasks throughout the project’s lifecycle.

You also need to consider the potential challenges and risks associated with recruiting, training, and retaining a skilled workforce in the mining industry.

Additionally, if you want to do a good job with people planning, you must develop strategies to foster a positive work environment, promote teamwork, and ensure clear communication channels among all stakeholders.

Is a complete workforce plan necessary?

We think so, and here are five reasons why:

  1. An evidence-based plan streamlines the approach to talent acquisition. It gets the right information to the right people at the right time.
  2. Helps retain existing staff and skills, and attract high-performing staff.
  3. Prepares your company for skills supply and demand dynamics in the various markets (local-local, national, and expatriates).
  4. Accurately identifies the number and cost of people and skills needed at various levels.
  5. Helps identify, monitor, and manage workforce risk.

Managing risk is the critical part of workforce planning. It’s often overlooked or underestimated. A thorough workforce plan will identify the risks along with workforce development strategies to mitigate them.

What are the critical workforce development strategies for mining projects?

There are five main areas you need to consider:

  1. Attraction and recruitment
  2. Learning and development
  3. Succession planning
  4. Organisation and job design
  5. Relocation and mobility

Do you need a workforce plan for your mining project?

The following questions will help you decide:

  • Do you have an evidence-based workforce development strategy (such as recruitment or learning and development)?
  • Can you identify the skills and competencies needed?
  • Do you understand the mobility trends of the people who are crucial to the business?
  • Do you know where workers with suitably matched skills and experiences can be found?
  • Does your company have workforce planning capabilities and systems to support workforce planning methods?
  • Have the working life stages of the workforce been identified?
  • Do you know the implications for current and future supply (i.e. how many new entry, early career, mid- or end-of-career workers are there in the business and what positions do they hold? Are they in critical job groups and/or are they in the leadership team?)
  • Do you have a succession plan for people working in critical jobs/job groups?
  • Have you identified sources for workforce planning expertise, advice, and support?

Planning for your mining project starts with a detailed ‘people plan’. Successful projects all have one thing in common—a thorough workforce plan with risk mitigations.

Ultimately, you need to recognise that people are the backbone of any successful project. If you take a holistic approach to people planning, you’ll take into account the diverse needs, capabilities, and well-being of individuals, so you can optimise their contribution to the project’s success.

At Globe, our consultants are here to support your workforce development and planning. Reach out to us for advice and guidance. Together, we can navigate the path to a successful mining project.

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