The NWT Mine Training Society, Aurora College and the local mines in the north of Canada are looking to fill positions in a wide variety of fields with local talent. The Up Here Business Magazine reports: Vice-president of operations for Avalon Rare Metals, with a mine near Yellowknife in the pre-construction phase, is estimating his mine alone will need more than 200 workers in a variety of fields. John Kearney, president of Canadian Zinc Corporation, says that the Prairie Creek Mine in Deh Cho will directly employ 340 workers as it hits startup.
Both men would like their needs to be met locally, if possible. But their demands for a sophisticated and high tech workforce have created an urgent need for basic and higher-level education. While the industry can provide some basic skills and in-house, on-the-job training, its need for a more skilled workforce requires collaborations. “Mining companies are in the business of exploring and mining,” says Kearney, who is also president of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines. “We are not in the business of teaching or training, at least not in non-job-specific training. As such we do not have the resources or the expertise to engage in teaching or training activities.”