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Chile Pushes for More Equal Mines

A group of students in the Metropolitan Region start their Women in Mining course. Photo courtesy of SENCE Chile.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Chilean Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare’s top official in the northern mining region of Antofagasta, Pablo Garcia, announced today the opening of a further 100 places in the ministry’s Women in Mining program. The initiative, part of a broader plan to boost women in the workforce, started this year and is in its second and final phase. It hopes to train 1500 women in eight regions across the country.

"This program is focused on enabling more women every day to work in mining, where wages are higher than in many other industries in the country," said Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Evelyn Matthei. The program objective, according to a government labor website, is to “run training activities aimed at people with low qualifications, unemployed or first-time work seeks, in order to improve their job skills and provide access to employment in or related to mining.”

The Chilean mining industry is expected to need an additional 50,000 new workers over the next ten years for projects in the pipeline. However, the government recently announced work figures showing the country was operating at close to full employment.