About Mining Essentials

Mining Essentials is a pre-employment training program for Aboriginal peoples who are interested in exploring their career options in mining. The program teaches both the essential skills and work readiness skills that the mining industry has deemed necessary to gain an entry-level position. Mining Essentials provides a first step in pursuit of a rewarding career!

This program was created to help companies and communities meet joint hiring and employment targets. It provides opportunities for Aboriginal peoples to develop the non-technical skills and the confidence needed to achieve rewarding careers. Mining Essentials allows companies to benefit from a local, skilled and a safety-conscious workforce and it also fosters economic development that results in healthy communities.

An Aboriginal woman controlling an equipment simulator. A screen shows how the equipment is being controlled.

How does it work?

Mining Essentials teaches skills using industry examples, tools, documents and situations and traditional Aboriginal teaching methods and mediums. It is a 360 hour training program that combines two components for an empowering learning experience:

1. Classroom training on essential and work readiness (non-technical) skills which industry has validated as necessary to be considered for entry-level hires

2. Enrichment activities that bring industry to life through site visits, hands-on activities, guest speakers, and/or certifications (making the participants more employable), etc. as defined by the training site and their partners

Training must involve three-way partnerships between communities, educators and industry.

Mining Essentials was created through a partnership between MiHR and the Assembly of First Nations, with Aboriginal groups, educators and industry members overseeing its development.


  • Many graduates have been either hired by industry partners or have decided to pursue further education or training. Since the program’s launch, the graduation rate has remained above 70%.
  • Every learner reported he or she learned more about employment opportunities in the mining industry and about life skills.
  • Every learner stated that his or her skills and confidence grew throughout the training.
  • Mining employer partners reported they were impressed with the students they met.
  • Over 90 per cent of learners reported they now know what is needed to work in the mining industry and viewed their trainers as helpful and enthusiastic.
  • Trainers and educators agreed that most individuals who completed the program were ready to start work, with some additional technical training.

Become a training site

Partnerships are critical. Each location must have strong education, industry and community partners onboard, qualified trainers and participation from at least one Elder.

Training Sites must provide MiHR with a Demonstration of Capacity to deliver the program. This 'proposal' provides MiHR, the AFN and the Advisory Group with the required information of the potential site's ability to deliver the Mining Essentials program based on its Training Standard, safeguarding the program’s quality and consistent delivery across Canada.

Financial requirements will vary depending on factors such as transportation, trainer salaries, training/travel/childcare allowances. Sites can obtain funding from provincial/territorial/federal Aboriginal training programs, industry contributions, partnerships, etc. Authorized training sites will be responsible for finding training dollars required to deliver the program.

For more information on how to become a Mining Essentials training site, please contact Pascale Larouche.