London university bars mining graduate recruitment

A university in London has said its careers service will no longer deal with mining companies.

Mining's workforce needs support

Mining's workforce needs support

The new policy from Birkbeck, University of London, states its careers service "will not hold relationships of any kind with oil, gas or mining companies", as was reported by the Guardian.

The university said in its "Ethical Careers Policy" that this relationship "includes, but is not limited to, attendance at careers fairs and other recruitment opportunities, posting role vacancies, sponsorships and advertising".

The policy adds that "job posts made by or on behalf of oil, gas or mining companies, in line with our commitment to sustainability and addressing the climate crisis, will not be approved by Birkbeck Talent".

Critics have noted that as the mining workforce has a sizeable number of employees in the 50-60 age bracket who are retiring, such moves risk widening an immense skills gap.

"Mining companies must ensure they are abiding by economic, environmental, and safety regulations to harness the next generation of talent," said Boris Ivanov, Global Commodities expert and Founder of Emiral Resources, told Mining Magazine. "[But] with universities in the UK beginning to cut off recruitment pathways to fossil fuel companies, the mining sector will have to rethink how it sources and retains talent."

Birkbeck's new careers policy was developed through talks between students, the careers service and university management, notes the Guardian report.

The decision follows a campaign by the student-led group People & Planet, to cut off recruitment pathways to miners.

The group said universities have been "propping up the companies most responsible for destroying the planet", while the climate crisis was "the defining issue of most students' current lifetimes". 

Joe Carr, Axora's Director of Innovation, said: "This is disappointing to see - the talent gap in mining is real and it puts mining companies in a difficult position. With raw materials being more important than ever in tackling the current climate crisis, the idea that mining companies (excluding coal) are part of the problem is incredibly problematic."



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