Opportunities For Aboriginal Students Expanded
McGuinty Government Supports Training Courses At Confederation College
Ontario is providing greater opportunities for members of Aboriginal communities in the Far North to benefit from mineral exploration training programs.
The province's Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) has expanded its partnership with Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology in Thunder Bay, which originally offered a five-week certified training course in basic line cutting, a technique used in mineral exploration.
Under a new agreement, Confederation College will receive $250,000 to deliver additional training courses in:
- prospecting and staking
- organizing geological data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and
- geophysical operations and diamond drilling (in partnership with other training institutions).
Graduates will be better prepared to work directly in the mineral industry and other natural resource sectors.
- Since July 2006, Confederation College's basic line cutting course has provided 104 graduates from 12 First Nations in Northwestern Ontario with employment options in their own communities and elsewhere.
- Confederation has worked in partnership with several junior mining exploration companies to help them train and hire First Nation employees.
- The minerals sector is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal workers in Canada.
“Our government's proposed Mining Act amendments would provide increased opportunities for interested Aboriginal communities to be involved in the mineral development process. These communities need ways to develop the professional skills of those who are interested in a collaboration with the OGS.”
“The training partnership between the OGS and Confederation College is helping First Nations in the Far North meet their goals for meaningful employment and business development. I am pleased our government is helping to ensure that our First Nations communities have the tools they need to be successful in the growing mineral and natural resource sectors.”
“Confederation College has a strong history of equipping our graduates with relevant skills and education that meet the changing needs of industry and business. I look forward to continuing our collaboration with the OGS that has been so successful for so many students.”