Northern Ontario mining company, college offering free job training

With the increased demand for skilled workers in the booming northern Ontario mining industry, a new program is helping with free job training.

Up to 146 people will get free mining skills training through the new partnership between a northern Ontario college and a company with two mines in the region.

It is a $4.58 million project between Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, which has two gold mines in northern Ontario, and Northern College's training division is being funded through Ontario's Skills Development Fund.

Agnico Eagle operates Detour Lake Mine, about 300 kilometres northeast of Timmins, and Macassa Mine in Kirkland Lake.

Northern College has campuses in Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Haileybury and Moosonee.

The tuition-free programs include career readiness, trades pre-apprenticeships, underground mining, diamond drilling, mineral processing and environmental monitoring.

In order to make the program more accessible, funding to help students with childcare, travel and accommodations may also be available.

"We offer many opportunities to build technical skills through on-the-job training and the chance to work with some of the industry’s most talented leaders. With support from Minister McNaughton, our partnership with Northern College will help prepare the next generation of work-ready graduates to fill many in-demand positions within the mining sector," said Andre Leite, Agnico Eagle Mines Ontario vice-president.

"The creation of partnerships and talent pipelines for specialized roles within our industry is critical to our long-term success. In 2021, we hired nearly 600 workers for our operations in northern Ontario and we have many more positions to fill now and into the future."