I've found the following sentence in a text written by a non-native speaker of English:

"Later on, it was the metallurgist industry which opened new labour opportunities in the region."

This sounds like a word-by-word translation from Spanish, and "metallurgist industry" just doesn't sound right for some reason.
I know that "labour oportunities" is not correct, but my doubt is about the use of "metallurgist". Is that really a collocation in English? Or what should the text say?
Also, what's the difference between "matallurgist" and metallurgical"?

Thanks in advance,

How is "labour opportunities" incorrect?

In that case, "job opportunity" would also have to be wrong. And yet it is a very common term.
Good question! Let's see if I can answer it.

I've always thought that labour means (apart from "the act of giving birth", which is not my concern here):
1. workers, especially those who do manual work ( as in "cheap labour")
2. tiring physical work (as in "Building roads still involves manual labour")

That's why "labour opportunities" sounds strange to me, while "job opportunities" sounds, if nothing else, more familiar.

So now I have doubts about two parts of the sentence, not just one. Emotion: smile
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I think "labour" implies manual work, something a metallurgist would do little of.

"Metallurgical industry" (assuming I spelt it correctly) is better that "metallurgist industry," which sounds like the buying and selling of people who've studied metallugy.

Lastly, "metals industry" sounds best to me since it's shorter, but I don't know the exact topic at hand.
In economics, "labour" is the term given to human resources used in production. I think "labour opportunities" is quite acceptable in that case. The term "labour market" is often used, for instance.

As Ryan noted, "Metallurgist" refers to a practitioner of Metallurgy (the science of manipulating metals and metallic compounds). And I'd agree that "Metals Industry" is probably the best substitute.
Samka, thanks for the economic definition of "labour". I wasn't aware of this, and it's probably better given Miriam's context.
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Labour is the consequence of having *** someone with a bit of spicy suffering on the part of one of the workers, not having any consequences for the other part.
Metallurgy is the industry Miriam and a metallurgist is one who works in that industry. You indicated you were not comfortable with the sentence. Substituting metallurgy for metallurgist may ease your qualms.Emotion: wink
samka, ryan, HotWombat, I thank you all!

I found the sentence in question in a short text written by a teacher here in my city. I still don’t like either the sentence I posted here or the whole text. Again, I cannot give you a linguistic or a grammatical explanation for not liking either, it’s more a "feeling" than anything else. To me, the whole thing just doesn’t sound English, it sounds like a bad translation.
I’m including here the whole paragraph in which that sentence appears. It is part of the description of a city in Argentina (Tandil). The layout, spelling, punctuation, etc. are not my work; I’m copying the paragraph word by word from the "original":

"At the moment of its creation, Tandil had 400 citizens (the people who had come with Martín Rodríguez), and today has become a city of 150000. This growth was bigger in certain years, like 1883 when the railroad arrived, the opening of the stone quarries and the beginning of farming and cattle breeding. Later on, it was the metallurgist industry which opened new labor opportunities in the region. During the 70s, the opening of the University had the same effect. Nowadays, what attracts new people is the city’s standard of living."

Once more, thank you for your help Emotion: smile

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