Mine Essentials: A Work Readiness Training Program Set to Go


THUNDER BAY – Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS) in co-operation with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR), are proud to announce the pilot of Mining Essentials: A Work Readiness Training Program for Aboriginal Peoples.

The pilot project is in partnership with the Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation, Pic Mobert First Nation, Barrick – Hemlo and Confederation College’s Training & Development Department.

The twelve week program which starts in the Fall of 2010 is based on industry approved standards – a comprehensive description of the mining industry’s requirements in terms of essential, non-technical skills and knowledge – for a basic entry-level position in the industry.

The AFN and MiHR along with a number of industry and Aboriginal training representatives, have partnered to develop the Mining Essentials pilot training project, which will be delivered at the Marathon Campus of Confederation College. There will be two other pilot sites in Canada.

The Canadian mining industry will need to hire approximately 100,000 new workers by 2020 to satisfy replacement needs and to fill new positions. “It is critical that Aboriginal communities are prepared to fully participate and benefit from career opportunities that will arise over the next decade,” says Melanie Sturk, MiHR’s Director, Attraction, Retention, and Transition. “This program will help achieve that.”

“First Nations support environmentally responsible mining operations that will employ their Peoples – either directly or indirectly – as a means of creating healthy, economically sustainable communities,” said National Chief Shawn Atleo. “We need First Nation specific training, such as Mining Essentials, to ensure that all Peoples, including Inuit and Metis, receive the necessary skills to enter the workforce. Not only will our families prosper, but Canada’s social and economic fabric will be stronger.”

The Mining Essentials program includes 3 weeks of workplace training with the Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation, Pic Mobert First Nation as well as 3 weeks training with Barrick – Hemlo. “This initiative is a further step towards a developed solution tailored to human resources needs in the mining sector,” said Roger Souckey, Human Resources Superintendent with Barrick – Hemlo.

Reinforcing the work readiness aspect of the training program, based on regional employment needs, there is a separate Environmental Monitor training component based on the Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR) project with Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) Canada. The third and final component is seven weeks of tailored training based on the needs of Aboriginal learners in order to further learn, develop and retain transferable skills.

“This initiative will provide our members with the stepping stones required to build skills and gain the knowledge needed to realize their employment goals in the rapidly expanding and diversifying mining sector. It’s important that we continue to be the leader in the development of our training programs that meet the needs of our communities,” said Bonnie Goodchild, Executive Director of the AETS.

Mutually beneficial partnerships like this one with Confederation College will increase First Nation self reliance and contribute to ongoing improvements to the overall well being of First Nation individuals, families and communities in Northwestern Ontario. This project is the result of a successful relationship between the AETS, Barrick – Hemlo, MiHR, the AFN, and Confederation College. The AETS successfully secured the funding for the training program through the Ministry

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