New mining sector-skills training program

The Government of Canada is committed to working with provincial and territorial governments and the mining industry to ensure Canadians have the skills, knowledge and experience they need to find jobs in the rapidly growing mining industry.

To this end, on August 20, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced more than $5.8 million over two years – through Employment and Social Development Canada’s Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) – to the Northwest Territories Mine Training Society for a new mining sector-skills training program.  This program will help Aboriginal participants gain the training they need to access the jobs and prosperity generated by this industry.  The Prime Minister made the announcement during his annual Northern Tour of Canada, taking place from August 18-23, 2013.

The Government of Canada’s support will help the Northwest Territories Mine Training Society develop and implement their training program.  Government funding will be in addition to support by partners, including the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, Aurora College and the mining industry.  Funding partners will collectively provide over $6 million in support.

This 25-month training – which began on February 28, 2013 and will end on March 31, 2015 – will help 400 Aboriginal participants in the Northwest Territories and the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut learn essential mining sector skills.

The training is being delivered by the Northwest Territories Mine Training Society, through its “Mining the Future” project, in 11 communities in the Northwest Territories and in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.  These include: Kugluktuk, Cambridge Bay, Bechoko, Lutsel K’e, Inuvik, Deline, Hay River, Yellowknife, Fort Smith, N’Dilo, and Dettah.

Training in Hay River will begin on September 3, 2013.

Training will also be delivered at three mine sites in the Territories: Diavik Diamond Mine (Rio Tinto), Snap Lake Mine (DeBeers Canada) and Ekati Diamond Mine (Dominion Diamond Corporation).  Aboriginal people living in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut are also eligible to participate in this program.

Following the training, six local employer partners, including three area mines, will place the graduates in a range of jobs, including underground miners, heavy equipment operators and geoscience field assistants.  These employment partners are:

  • De Beers Canada
  • Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
  • Avalon Rare Metals Inc.
  • Procon Mining and Tunnelling
  • We La Dai Corporation Ltd.
  • Bouwa Whee Catering

This training program is part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to support training, job creation and long-term prosperity in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.  In July 2010, the Government of Canada launched the SPF, a $210 million over five year program that helps First Nations, Métis and Inuit gain training and work experience to secure meaningful, long-term employment.  There are currently four active SPF projects that focus on skills training for employment in the mining sector in the three territories.

In addition to the SPF, the Government is also promoting job creation for Aboriginal people in the North through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) and the First Nations Job Fund.

ASETS supports over 80 Aboriginal organizations throughout Canada that deliver services to prepare First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals to find meaningful, long-term employment. This Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) program was launched in April 2010 with support of $1.6 billion over five years.  There are currently 12 ASETS agreement holders in the three territories.

Through the First Nations Job Fund, on-reserve First Nations youth between the ages of 18 to 24 in participating communities who receive Income Assistance, and who are deemed employable, will be able to access the skills and training they need to secure employment. Launched in Economic Action Plan 2013 and administered by ESDC, the Job Fund is being implemented over three years across the country with First Nations communities through a phased-in approach.

YPSWA’s Board of Directors approved a project about mining and fully supports all initiatives that may contribute to employment of youth.

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