Understanding the Transferable Skills from Extractives

  • Every mineral deposit is location-specific and requires the development of highly localized and specialized skills, many of which have the potential to enable suppliers to enter new and different niche markets.
  • With the advent of automation in extractive industries new positions will emerge which rely heavily on knowledge of mathematics and science, as well as an ability to use information systems and technologies, all of which are likely to be highly transferable skills.
  • Regrettably, few guidance documents or case studies that address how countries can take stock of the transferable skills in extractive industries are currently available, but the Assessing Skills in the Economy page from the Jobs from Extractives section, and the Assessing the Current Situation page from the Supplying Extractive section in this framework are useful resources.

Key Resources

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Topic Briefing

Transferrable skills required by extractive industries and other sectors in the economy include general business and management skills (accounting, business planning, budgeting procedures, international standard requirements, etc.) and specific technical, engineering and mechanical skills.

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Every mineral deposit is location-specific and requires the development of highly localized and specialized skills. These special capabilities can enable suppliers to enter new and different niche markets. For instance, in South Africa, the competencies developed to wash the local coal from impurities now serve spiral washing in the tar sands of Canada.

Additional examples of transferable technical skills are in Angola and Nigeria. In Angola, the manufacturing and assembly of oil rig control lines between the sub-sea and the surface require basic metal working capabilities that could be adapted to develop the construction and other manufacturing sectors. In Nigeria, the oil sector has outsourced information technology services and it is anecdotally reported that those IT skills are being applied to other sectors in the economy.

With the advent of automation in extractive industries, new positions will emerge in the development, observation, and maintenance of remotely controlled autonomous equipment, as well as in data processing and systems analysis. These positions rely on knowledge of mathematics and science, and an ability to use information technologies which are likely highly transferable skills.

There are regrettably few guidance documents or case studies that address how countries can take stock of the transferable skills in extractive industries. To understand how to assess what skills and capabilities are present in existing extractive industry operations and their value chains, see Assessing Skills In The Economy from the Jobs from Extractives section, and  Assessing The Current Situation from the Supplying Extractive section.