SMITHERS – Northwest Community College's (NWCC) School of Exploration & Mining (SEM) will be able to offer Drill Core Technician training at remote work sites and on contract thanks to the donation of a portable core shack and equipment.
NWCC SEM is grateful to its industry partners Callinex Mines, Canadian Helicopters, Cyr Drilling and UTM Exploration for their matching $4,550 donations, along with generous in-kind donations from IRL Supplies and Castle. Dave O'Leary, NWCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement, says he was very impressed by the collaborative nature of the donation.
"This is a perfect example of industry working together to support the training that is needed to address the severe skills shortage in our region," O'Leary said. "The donors are to be commended for their innovation and cooperation."
The new training tool will support SEM's experiential, hands-on training model. The core shack is essentially a portable classroom, allowing SEM to offer Drill Core Technician courses anywhere, from NWCC campuses to remote locations and exploration camps.
The first offerings of the Drill Core Technician Basic Training course are just weeks away with one cohort at NWCC Hazelton Campus from March 15-20 and a second one at NWCC Houston Campus from March 28 to April 2.
"The School of Exploration & Mining team is keen to take our training out to our neighbouring NWCC campuses in Hazelton and Houston," said Tony Harris, SEM's Employment Advisor & Industry Liaison. "This is a great opportunity to put our new equipment to use and show our industry partners just how valuable it will be for our students."
Harris adds that Northwest area students will benefit from this generous donation and the specialized, job-ready training it enables because they won't have to leave their communities, saving them time and money. The course provides students with the practical skills required to observe, measure and record information from drill core. Upon graduation, students be able to process and safely handle core boxes, how to operate and maintain a core-splitter, and the correct procedures for handling samples.
Harris says SEM grads are highly employable in an industry known for high wages, strong benefits and regular work schedules.
Provincial and federal employment forecasts show the mining industry and its support activities will grow by 3.5 per cent a year with 12,600 new job openings in the sector between 2007 and 2017.
Since its inception in 2004, SEM has graduated more than 850 students and 83 percent of SEM grads either found work or returned to school. Through workforce training for the exploration, mining and natural resource industries, NWCC SEM seeks to build capacity and engagement in communities involved with minerals exploration and other resource development. By bringing the training to communities, SEM overcomes some of the barriers that learners face in remote locations.