Innovative youth mining apprenticeship pilot

Secondary students get to prepare for trades jobs through apprenticeships

Secondary students in the Cariboo are now able to take a secondary school apprenticeship at the Mount Polley Mine through a pilot program, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural

Gas Rich Coleman announced recently.

The project, which is endorsed by the BC Mining HR Task Force (BCMHRTF) and School

District #27, is aimed at addressing the issues of an aging workforce and related skill shortages.

The program started in June 2012 and will be completed in June 2013. An agreement was reached with Mount Polley Mine and, as a result, students and their trade area were identified from the district’s programs. Several mining-related trades and their students were available for the pilot and entered into employment with the mine.

Says Tim Fisch, Mount Polley Mining Corporation general manager: “We are pleased to participate in this innovative program, which will provide the youth in our region the skills necessary to take advantage of high-paying job opportunities in our industry immediately upon completion of their secondary education.”

The goal of this training model is to ensure the successful outcome for both student and employer. With its completion and success, the training model can be used by other mining companies and school districts in other regions of British Columbia.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says apprenticeships like this one give students the chance to learn real skills, which will help them in their career path, while at the same time addressing the skills shortage we have in mining.

“I’m very happy to see collaborative projects such as this one where both the students and the industry benefit.”

The BC Mining HR Task Force’s interim report on the project is available at www.acareerinminingbc.ca/educators.