Our Workforce & Contractors
The value of local hiring cannot be understated. Between Pretivm’s direct workforce and that of our contractors, our goal is to maximize employment for Northwest BC residents and Indigenous groups. To reach this goal, not only do we employ people in a broad range of full-time and seasonal employment opportunities with Pretivm, but we also work with our contractors to support local and Indigenous hiring for contract work.
Our commitment to local hiring and contracting is founded in our Economic and Social Effects Mitigation Plan (ESEMP), which includes strategies for employment, training, procurement, community engagement, and worker transportation. Pretivm’s CEO and Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability champion our commitment to local hiring and procurement. Our community relations team, based in Smithers, puts this commitment to action with support from human resources, procurement, and other departments.
Over 2019, we engaged 1,201 people in employment at our mine site, including both direct employees and on- and off-site contractors. In December 2019, there were 763 people employed directly by Pretivm, including 736 who worked on-site at the Brucejack Mine and associated sites. The largest contractor, Procon, is responsible for underground mining and employed 313 people in 2019. Pretivm’s workforce in 2019 stayed relatively steady throughout the year. The majority of our workers (80%) hold permanent contracts, while temporary and seasonal contracts support snow removal, camp services, exploration, health and safety, and other types of work.
Together, our Underground Mining, Mill, Surface Operations and Camp Services teams employed more than half of our workforce as of December 2019, with a combined total of 672 positions. However, there are a broad range of positions outside of these departments, ranging from chefs and maintenance staff to geologists and hydrologists, safety experts, electricians, and wildlife experts.
Our hiring process considers an applicant’s community of residence: first preference is given to the First Nations with whom we have Cooperation and Benefits Agreements, followed by residents of our local area2 and those who live in Northwest BC. Workers from other parts of BC receive the next level of preference, followed by those from elsewhere in Canada. When selecting contractors and suppliers, we evaluate each company’s local and Indigenous hiring commitments as part of our contracting process. We also require that all active contractors provide regular reports on local and Indigenous employment.
residents of BC
people under the age of 30
We value our relationship with employees at all levels of the organization, as well as those who work for our contractors. The success of our workforce is critical to the success of our company. We stand behind our commitment to ensure that people feel safe, respected, and rewarded in the workplace. Governing policies include our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and our Workplace Bullying and Harassment Policy. Our Whistleblower Policy also applies to all employees and contractors. More information about these governance policies and systems is provided in Corporate Governance & Business Ethics.
Our approach to labour relations at the Brucejack Mine is to find ways we can improve year-over-year, and 2019 was no exception. In 2019, we provided training for 68 management and supervisory staff on respectful workplace practices, occupational health and safety, employee relations, workplace privacy law, and documentation. Our human resources department manages these programs and provides monthly updates to the Vice President of Operations, the Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, and the Brucejack Mine General Manager. When changes occur, we communicate with our large workforce through emails and notice boards at the mine site, and through our managers who provide updates directly to staff at daily toolbox meetings.
Compensation & Benefits
Our employees receive a competitive compensation package because we understand the value of employee retention and the importance of wages and benefits to prospective employees. There are a number of infrastructure and natural resource development projects underway in BC, and competition for local talent requires us to continually review and update our workforce compensation and benefits. Our entry-level wage in 2019, before bonuses and incentives, was 52% above the provincial minimum wage.
Our total compensation package includes numerous benefits for both full- and part-time employees. We provide all staff with three weeks of vacation, and those working a minimum of 25 hours per week on a minimum six-month contract receive extended health and dental benefits. Additionally, we provide short- and long-term disability benefits, matched retirement savings contributions, and access to restricted share units. Pretivm also provides a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program including access to confidential counselling and resources related to financial planning, parenting, communication, and stress management. Temporary and seasonal employees may also receive a range of employment benefits.
Employee Retention & Promotion
We believe in going the extra mile to inform local residents about mine employment opportunities, as well as some of the challenges associated with these jobs. As discussed in Community Relations, this includes transparent discussions about work on rotation at a remote mine site and the related implications for personal and family life. We also actively work to understand the reasons for workforce turnover through exit interviews, so that we can improve retention and satisfaction of our workforce. In 2019, 281 workers, comprising 242 men and 39 women, left the workforce due to resignation or termination. Of these employees, 87 were under age 30, 126 were aged 30–50, 68 were over 50 and 80% were from British Columbia. More than half (58%) of these were temporary workers who reached the end of their contract. The varied reasons employees provided for resignation included a desire to work closer to home and reduce travel time to/from work, as well as retirement, family considerations, and a lack of satisfaction with rotational work and camp life.
Whenever possible we promote people within the company to support ongoing growth, development, and engagement of our workers. We promoted 44 of our employees in 2019, including 18 Indigenous workers. Another 43 workers changed positions over the course of the year, and 16 people moved from temporary to permanent positions. More information about promotions and talent development is provided in Training and Development. Our performance review process ensures that employees have a good understanding of performance and development opportunities, and that we are able to more consistently retain high performers.
Procon, our largest on site-contractor, is based in BC and responsible for underground mining activities. Procon employed 313 people at the Brucejack Mine as of December 2019. Other on-site contractors include Hy-Tech Drilling (67 people) for the drilling program, Iridia Medical Services for on-site healthcare (19 people) and Western Protection Alliance for site security (16 people). Overall in 2019, 46% of our on-site contractor workforce were BC residents, and 17% identified as Indigenous. In addition, 45 residents of Northwest BC were employed through contractors providing other services directly to the Mine, such as transportation of materials to and from the mine site, and we are proud to support jobs and businesses in the region. Contractors report monthly on local and Indigenous hires and employment and we, in turn, work with our contractors to identify opportunities and strategies that enhance local involvement. More information about our contractors is found in Supply Chain & Downstream Markets.
products and services, including
$39.7 million that benefited
Northwest BC businesses
Diversity & Inclusion
The representation of women in our workforce and on our Board has increased. In our second full year of steady-state operation, women accounted for 16% of our workforce (125 employees in December 2019, up from 101 in December 2018). While 125 represents the highest number of women we have employed to date, we continue to strive for a greater inclusion of women in our workforce. At the mine site, women work in a wide range of roles that include environmental services, geology, health and safety, administration, camp services, mill maintenance, and surface maintenance. Women also make up 20% of our senior management team and 25% of our Board of Directors.
Our commitment to maximize Indigenous employment has been a top priority in previous years, and 2019 was no different. To achieve our goal, we worked to retain our Indigenous employees by providing opportunities for career development and promotion. Nearly a third (31%) of our direct workforce identified as Indigenous in 2019.
In our second full year of operations, our workforce included a greater number of direct hires compared to previous years. This provided a great opportunity to increase Indigenous employment in collaboration with our First Nations partners in particular the Nisga’a Nation, Tahltan Nation, and Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs. Our efforts to maximize Indigenous employment enabled us to nearly double the number of Indigenous staff since 2017, increasing from 116 in 2017 to 232 in 2019. Approximately 30% of all workers at the Brucejack Mine, direct and contract, identified as Indigenous in 2019.
To support our efforts to maximize Indigenous employment, our Community Relations Manager engages in regular meetings with First Nations’ employment and training representatives to discuss recruitment and hiring efforts. She also works with our contractors to collect monthly data on Indigenous employment and provides monthly employment reports back to each First Nation. More information about Pretivm’s initiatives in support of Indigenous communities is provided in Community Relations.
Advancing Skills & Career Prospects Through an Apprenticeship Program
The Brucejack Mine’s Apprenticeship Program has promoted a wide range of trades including heavy duty mechanics, electricians, welders, instrumentation technicians, millwrights, carpenters, plumbers/gas fitters, parts and warehouse technicians, and professional cooks, supporting employees and local community members in developing their skills and career prospects.
Pretivm covers the costs of tuition, registration, exam fees, and books and supplies for apprentices while giving them the opportunity to learn their trade at the Brucejack Mine. Additionally, we provide salary continuance and extended benefits for employees involved in the program.
Nine apprentices are currently benefitting from our Apprenticeship Program.