Understanding the Job Needs of Extractives

At a Glance
  • Nascent markets often require targeted efforts to boost the skills of the local labor force.

  • To create and enhance local capabilities that can be transferred to other sectors, it is important to develop skills that are common across several; one way to accomplish this is to create and support the development of multi-industry clusters.  

  • Development of cross-sectoral skills is important because the mining, oil and gas sectors are highly sensitive to business cycle variations that often lead to employment contraction.

Case Studies

Key Resources

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Matching Skills and Labour Market Needs, Building Social Partnerships for Better Skills and Better Jobs

This report looks specifically at matching jobs with workforce skills, and contends that skills mismatch—that is, the gap between the ...

Mining a Mirage. Reassessing the Shared-Value Paradigm in Light of the Technological Advances in the Mining Sector

This report reviews the shared-value paradigm in relation to sustainable development. Specifically, the impact of productivity-increasing ...

Role of Mining in National Economies

This report offers a comprehensive overview of mining’s contribution to the global economy, with a focus on the role extractives have ...

The Oil and Gas Industry in Uganda: Employment Trends, Vocational Education and Training, and Skills Needed

Through a case study of Uganda, this report examines national oil and gas policy in relation to developing oil and gas industry. As outlined ...

Oil and Gas Extraction: North American Industry Classification System 211

This site provides detailed statistics on the U.S. oil and gas industry, including information on characteristics of the labor force and ...

Studies on Employment and Extractive Industry-dominated African Countries

With the aim of providing recommendations on how to strategize a set of productive employment growth policies, this paper examines the ...

Topic Briefing

Planning and executing an extractive project require a broad set of skills, ranging from basic to highly specialized labor. In less developed labor markets, local employment often focuses on basic and low-skilled labor. Consequently, targeted training efforts are often needed to meet extractive projects’ demand.

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Policies that stimulate immediate increases in employment (for example, the share of local employment in the extractive sector) should be balanced with policies that contribute to long-term job increases (for example, the provision of appropriate skills training to the local labor force). Policies focused on the long term have the potential to create and enhance local capabilities that can be transferred to other sectors. These include the development of skills that are common across sectors, as well as the creation and support of clusters with other industries that have natural synergy with the oil and gas or mining industries. Developing cross-sectoral skills is important because oil and gas and mining are highly sensitive to business cycle variations; high commodity prices lead to increased activity, resulting in increased employment that lowers commodity prices, and then decreased sector activity and a contraction of employment (particularly in mining). The “direct employment number” provided in table 1, for several projects around the world, shows this dramatic contraction post construction.

Table 1: Direct employment table reprinted from World Bank, World Development Report 2013: Jobs (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012), 200.

To stay competitive, the extractive sector is under global pressure to automate and digitize operations. This creates additional challenges to creating and retaining jobs, and restricts the type and number of jobs the industry can generate. Thus, automation is important to consider for policymakers trying to leverage extractive projects to further domestic human capital, particularly in remote and underdeveloped regions. The Mining a Mirage report (found in the Key Resources) is one of many studies that analyze the impact of automation on mining employment and its implications for policy making.