Mining Essentials: A Work Readiness Training for Indigenous People

Helping companies and communities meet employment needs.


Mining Essentials is a pre-employment training program for Indigenous people who are interested in a career in mining. The program teaches both the essential skills and work readiness skills necessary to gain an employment in the Canadian mining industry. Mining Essentials is the first step towards a rewarding career!

This program was created to help companies and communities meet joint hiring and employment targets. Mining Essentials allows companies to benefit from a local, skilled and safety-conscious workforce that also fosters economic development, resulting in healthier communities.

Mining Essentials teaches skills using industry examples, tools, documents and traditional Indigenous teaching methods and mediums. It is a 360 hour training program that combines two components for an empowering learning experience:

  1. Classroom training on essential and work-readiness (non-technical) skills that the industry has validated as necessary for entry-level hires.
  2. Enrichment activities that bring industry to life through site visits, hands-on activities, guest speakers, and industry certificates, as defined by training sites and their industry partners.

Training must involve three-way partnerships between communities, educators and industry, with the industry partner having the intent to hire some or all the successful graduates.

  • For Employers
  • For Trainers
  • For Communities
  • For Educators
Why choose Mining Essentials?

Mining Essentials is highly customizable for the employer and region’s unique needs. Employers are encouraged to participate during program delivery and plan enrichment activities so their training can be employer-specific and unique. It is also strongly suggested that employers make arrangements to bring learners on-site for job shadowing, as experiential learning helps them connect classroom knowledge to their field.

Trained, qualified and dedicated! 
Strengthening partnerships

The partnership between mining employers, educators and communities creates a successful foundation from training to employment. Program partners are able to establish a positive relationship based on a mutual understanding of everyone’s needs and set joint training goals for the benefit of learners.

Indigenous culture is integral to Mining Essentials. Designed to encourage learning in a culturally sensitive environment, the teaching of skills using cultural contexts and traditional methods helps learners relate to the material.

The program’s customizable curriculum provides the opportunity for learners to spend time at a mine or exploration site, providing them with hands-on experience that connects them to their potential employer.

Mining Essentials is taught in the classroom and through hands-on experiences.

The industry-validated curriculum and employer involvement enables educators to connect students to industry to give them the potential opportunity for hands-on experience at a mine or exploration site, enriching the learning experience and ensuring that learners want to pursue a career in mining.

Indigenous culture is integral to the program.

Designed to encourage learning in a culturally appropriate environment, the teaching of skills using cultural contexts and traditional methods helps learners relate to the material, whether they are First Nations, Métis or Inuit. Trainers are also encouraged to integrate and substitute local traditions to teach skills where possible. This is also beneficial to employers who are just starting to learn about their local community and how to become culturally aware.

Mining Essentials is highly customizable for the needs of the program partners and regions.

From day one, the partnerships between employers, educators and communities inform the work enrichment activities, delivery design and learner recruitment. Previous deliveries have included safety training or provincial certificates as part of training enrichment, further enhancing a candidate’s understanding of mining safety culture and regional work readiness.

Program graduates have the skills to seek employment or pursue further education.

Some graduates ask what lies ahead of an entry-level job, and start to recognize that they can achieve a leadership position over time. For learners without the educational requirements for their preferred career, Mining Essentials gives them the confidence and knowledge needed to further their education. The importance of demonstrating a positive workplace attitude is also reinforced throughout the Program and is necessary for learners to graduate.

For more information, please contact Pascale Larouche.

Indigenous people comprise 7% of the mining sector – making it the largest private sector employer of Indigenous people in Canada.

– MiHR: Canadian Mining Labour Market 10-Year Outlook 2020

The Standing Committee on Mining Essentials

The Standing Committee is comprised of industry, educators and Indigenous organizations who oversee the ongoing, successful delivery, development and implementation, and sustainability of the program.

Helping Companies and Communities Meet Employment Needs

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