The first-ever Geoscience Field Assistant Training Program began just last week in Yellowknife.
Geoscience Field Assistants play a role in tasks like sampling and surveying to help get a better understanding of geological features.
Eight participants, supported by eight employer sponsors have signed up for the five-week, classroom-based course, which will be delivered by Aurora College. The classroom portion will be followed by 160 hours of on-the-job training, and the Mine Training Society will offer wage subsidies of $21/hour to employers for the on-the-ground portion of the course.
Out of the eight accepted applications, five came from Yellowknife, and one from each Łutselk’e, Tulita, and Behchokǫ̀.
“It’s positive to see eight Northerners getting skills in a high-demand field that opens up many doors for rewarding careers right here in the NWT,” said Cory Vanthuyne,Chair, Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment
“These are the kinds of grassroots investments I like to see from our government,” said Vanthuyne.
The GNWT’s Departments of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) and Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) are partnering with the NWT Mine Training Society, Aurora College, and the local mining industry to fill the need for qualified geoscience workers.
The NWT Geological Survey, Mine Training Society, and NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines collaborated to develop the curriculum and ITI has invested $12,000 to purchase the equipment needed to support it.
As recommended by the 2014 NWT Mineral Development Strategy and consistent with the 2015 Skills 4 Success Strategy, this program is one way the GNWT is developing a skilled NWT workforce to meet the NWT mining sector’s current and future needs.
“With targeted and innovative programs like this one, we can make sure we’re providing opportunities for northern residents to get the training and education they need, and for employers to attract and retain skilled workers,” said Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Caroline Cochrane.
“There will be 28,000 jobs opening up over the next 15 years, and we need to make sure northerners are in those jobs,” said Minister Cochrane.