Infrastructure, Energy & MaterialsFebruary 15, 2018

The Next Generation Mining Workforce

Recruiting Tech-savvy Workers With innovation taking center stage in the mining industry,…
Avatar Mark Bese

Recruiting Tech-savvy Workers

With innovation taking center stage in the mining industry, what the next generation mining workforce will be is only just beginning to take shape. Digitization of all aspects of the mining value chain will bring more opportunities to reshape how the industry works and who will staff it as artificial intelligence, block chain, virtual reality and 3D printing are the latest buzzwords entering the innovation conversation. Along with most other industries, mining is no longer competing just for traditional workers, such as geologists and engineers, it is competing for hi-tech personnel as well.

The smartphone generation has grown up with technology and instant connectivity as part of their daily lives. It forms a key part of their social identity. Innovation, intuitive ease-of-use and engaging software platforms are an everyday experience for them. When mining companies consider innovation, they must not just think about utilizing any technology to improve processes and their business, but whether or not it is seen as being attractive. Using yesterday’s technology to do tomorrow’s jobs will become a competitive disadvantage when seeking out tech-savvy employees, including in areas of traditional mining expertise.

Not all jurisdictions will be able to meet the demand for tech workers. This will require that companies incorporate platforms that allow people to connect shared applications and the same source of data regardless of what city or country they live in.  Indeed, workers themselves increasingly seek the freedom to work from anywhere. A hub in a city center may virtually house a planning and monitoring workforce that support remote locations, and be made up of workers who are themselves remotely located.

Companies will also need to enable short-term “gig” workers to be easily connected into their software ecosystem, integrating them into workspaces and capturing the data they work on in a standard, shareable formats. Doing so will ensure continuity between projects and processes.

As satellite and other internet connections to remote sites are becoming faster, and with 5G on the horizon, the power of cloud-based computing is opening up. This will allow for larger models to be processed faster. Better connections will also allow for virtual reality to be used as a learning and collaboration tool. With it, global teams will share a common understanding of a project in the same way they would as if they were working on site together. The best and brightest minds can come together to explore new possibilities to do things differently and then simulate and experience them.

For mining to lead in attracting the workforce of tomorrow, it must continue on its path of embracing innovation. Reticence to embracing new technologies and change in the way things are done must continue to be left behind in the rearview mirror.

Visit Dassault Systèmes website to learn about collaborative innovation that enables the workforces of today and tomorrow.

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