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Looking to work in the mines
Workshop explores mining careers

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 2, 2012

The NWT Mine Training Society is rolling out a new workshop aimed at guiding people into a job in the mining sector.

NNSL photo/graphic

A team from the NWT Mine Training Society including, from left, Jessica Enzoe-Riddle, program assistant; Candy Brown, career assessment officer; and Len Griffore, job coach, held a workshop in Fort Simpson on Jan. 30 titled So you Want to Work in the Mines. The workshop was also scheduled to be delivered in Fort Liard, Nahanni Butte and Jean Marie River this week. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

The new workshop, titled So You Want to Work in the Mines, is designed to teach people how to apply for mine jobs.

A lot of people come into the society's Yellowknife office to ask if it can get them a job in one of the mines, said Jessica Enzoe Riddle, a program assistant with the society.

However, the society's focus is training people for potential jobs in the mines, it's not a recruiting agency, Enzoe Riddle said.

The first workshop was held in Fort Simpson on Jan. 30 with approximately nine people in attendance. Further workshops were scheduled to be held in Nahanni Butte on Jan. 31, Fort Liard on Feb. 1 and Jean Marie River on Feb. 3.

Following the workshops, participants should be able to identify the personal and professional strengths needed to work in the mining industry, as well as understand what employers are looking for, Enzoe Riddle said.

For those who are considering working in the mines, there are lots of opportunities.

"It's one of the fastest growing industries in the North," said Candy Brown, a career assessment officer with the society.

The workshop doesn't focus on the diamond mines outside of Yellowknife, but also mining opportunities across the Yukon, NWT and Nunavut.

Brown said there are more opportunities at the mines than just becoming an underground miner or heavy equipment operator.

"They need secretaries, they need accountants," she said. "There's so many things you can do if that's what you're interested in."

During the workshop in Fort Simpson, Brown brainstormed with participants about various jobs attached to the mines and the level of education needed for each.

"You can go from Grade 6 to two or three degrees," she said.

The workshop also examined the possible downsides of working in the mines, including rotation work and the effect that can have on families.

At the end of each workshop, for those with an interest, the society took applications for the training sessions being offered throughout the year.

The society has a number of training sessions planned for the Deh Cho, said Len Griffore, a job coach with the society who is based in Fort Simpson.

Although they are designed to train people for jobs in the mining industry, the workshops also assist people in getting jobs in other areas, Griffore said.

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