Mining Essentials: A Work Readiness Training Program for Aboriginal Peoples held at Northwest Community College (NWCC) saw such success in the pilot, it will soon be offered across Canada.
“We need to help mining and exploration companies better connect with alternative sources of labor as the baby boomer generation heads into retirement,” said Melanie Sturk, director of attraction, retention, and transition with the Mining Industry Human Resources Council, (MiHR) in a press release. "The recent BC [British Columbia] pilot went very well, and learners are now empowered and excited about their futures in the mining sector; they are ready for hire. This wouldn't be possible without the support of our partners, including the AFN and NWCC. "
The MiHR even has a post on its website detailing how the program’s “graduates are optimal candidates for employment.”
In February 22 graduates completed the 12-week program, taught by two MiHR instructors. The graduates are now working with the college’s School of Exploration & Mining (SEM) to find work. Some students decided to continue their education with more SEM courses.
“The course will benefit me because it really helped me to prepare for work and taught me how to look for work. I would recommend this course to anybody who is interested in the mining industry,” said Mining Essentials graduate Richard Alexander, in a press release
The program teaches skills using workplace examples and traditional knowledge while combining industry recognized standards and hands-on learning.
“The course was very informative in a lot of ways,” said another graduate of the program, Brent Dennis. “It opens up opportunities for finding the right job that is best for me.