Mining Essentials: Work Readiness Training for Indigenous Peoples

Helping companies and communities meet employment needs.


Mining Essentials is a pre-employment training program for Indigenous peoples 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. Face-to-face or virtual training on essential and work readiness (non-technical) skills that the industry has validated as necessary for entry-level hires. This training involves trainer led training, facilitated discussions, e-Learning, and group work.
  2. Enrichment activities that bring the program to life through site visits, practical activities, guest speakers, additional certificates, as defined by training sites and their industry partners, along with cultural activities. These activities help make the content more relevant to learners and help them apply and demonstrate their newly acquired skills to help make them more employable.

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.

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Trained, qualified and dedicated! 

Each delivery of Mining Essentials is best delivered by two trainers. One trainer must have industry experience, preferably as a trainer or supervisor, and the other must have a background in adult education or life skills training. At least one of the trainers must self-identify as Indigenous (Métis, First Nations or Inuit). An ideal training team includes one male and one female trainer, both with positive attitudes, ability to adapt their lessons to meet the diverse needs of the classroom and dedication to the success of every learner. The blended and virtual delivery methods require at least one trainer with experience in delivering remote training and must be familiar with the following online tools: zoom, brightspace, mentimeter, google docs, google jamboard.

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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 a virtual or face-to-face classroom and through practical experiences.

The industry-validated curriculum and employer involvement enables educators to connect learners to industry to give them the potential opportunity for practical 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.

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For more information, please contact Pascale Larouche.

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

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

Helping Companies and Communities Meet Employment Needs

The Standing Committee on Mining Essentials (SCME)

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


Andrea Aiabens

Native Women’s Association of Canada

Gordon Kakegamic


Daniel Miron

Vale Canada Limited – Sudbury Operations

Terry Ma

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Sacha Weber

Yukon College

Alfred Linklater

Assembly of First Nations

Wei Xei

Metis National Council

Linda Wright

Sioux Hudson Literacy Council

Catherine Peltier-Mavin


Eric Kohtakangas

Cementation Canada inc.

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