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Skills for Our Common Future Initiative

Mining can play an important role in strengthening social and economic resilience in host communities, including through the promotion of diversity and inclusion.

ICMM’s Skills for our Common Future initiative (Skills Initiative) is a long-term aspirational social goal, agreed by ICMM’s Council of CEOs, to accelerate national and regional efforts to build new, and bolster existing, skills that are necessary to drive inclusive economic participation and diversification beyond mining.

The Initiative will evolve over the next 15 years to achieve the ambition of building skills for host communities to fully participate in the economy of the future, delivered through partnerships between the mining sector, communities, government and civil society. The initiative will fundamentally enhance mining’s contribution to local communities and, by doing so, improve societal perceptions of mining.

Contributing to community resilience

The Skills Initiative supports members in strengthening community and local economic resilience through skills building and reskilling in the regions around their operations.

It responds to a profound need – identified over several years working with stakeholders and partners around the world – for communities where our members operate to prosper and thrive through the disruptions of our rapidly changing world including:

  • Economic transitions: Informing and sharing learning from programmes that upskill and reskill workers in preparation for economic transitions including mine closure, the mine of the future and the impacts of technological advances such as automation and artificial intelligence across the economy.
  • Climate change: Promoting collaborations to build community and economic resilience in response to the various impacts associated with climate change.
  • Significant and disruptive events: Promoting collaborations to build community and economic resilience and support recovery from natural disasters, political upheavals and pandemics.

Delivered Through Partnerships

The initiative will be delivered through partnerships that leverage the resources of actors at global, national and local levels to identify best practices and catalyse the adoption of effective skills planning and training approaches, at scale. It will also look to draw on the mining sector’s long experience of working with local communities to help inform the best approach, taking into consideration different cultures, geographies, economic and social conditions, and local situations.

Driving a Step-Change

Through ICMM’s Mining Principles, members are committed to pursue continual improvement in social performance and contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of host countries and communities. We recognise that our industry has not always got this right and there is a lot of work to do together to make progress on these commitments.

The Skills Initiative sits at the centre of ICMM’s strategy and action plan. Together with our tailings programme and the Innovation of Cleaner, Safer Vehicles initiative, the Skills Initiative supports a step-change in the way we design, build and operate mines to reduce waste, minimise carbon emissions, improve worker safety, and contribute to the socio-economic development of local communities.

Engaging With Partners

This approach has been informed by a series of engagements with industry and key partners. In August, ICMM hosted a global partners roundtable to explore mining’s contribution to economic recovery and community resilience post COVID-19 and the role of skills.

Held over two days, the roundtable brought together participants from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (IGF); International Finance Corporation (IFC); International Labour Organisation (ILO); Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); The Partnering Initiative and The World Bank, as well as representatives from its member companies. Key themes emerging from these sessions can be found by downloading the summary notes