The looming skilled labour shortage may be old news, but the fact is, action needs to be taken to draw new talent to the industry. That is exactly what CIM North Central British Columbia Branch’s donation of $30,000 to the College of New Caledonia aims to accomplish.
In December 2011, the NCBC Branch invested in the future of the mining industry with a sizeable donation to the CNC in British Columbia. An endowment fund was set up with $28,000 of the donated money. The remaining $2,000 will be split into four entrance awards: two scholarships and two bursaries. The money will be granted to students entering the 2012 Mine Certificate Program, a “crash course” in mining, covering the basic foundations of the industry for those looking to break into the field.
The CNC Mining Certificate program is offered on a rotational basis at the college’s regional campuses, and is currently underway in Quesnel and Vanderhoof. It has already been successfully delivered at the Fort St. James and Burns Lake campuses, with more than 80 per cent of graduates entering the workforce.
“These types of donations are important for our industry because we have more jobs than we can fill,” says Christy Smith, the director of scholarships and bursaries at the NCBC Branch. “New mines are popping up all the time – particularly in British Columbia – and we need people to fill the skilled labour positions.”
Students with the highest grade point average will receive the entrance awards; those with proven Aboriginal ancestry will gain an extra point. This initiative hopes to reach First Nations communities in the area and encourage the pursuit of education that will lead to future employment close to the community.