On March 8, 2006, a Mining Camp conference took place at Northwest Community College (NWCC) in Smithers, BC. Northern Lights College (NLC), was asked to attend with hopes of becoming a partner in the camp for 2006. Maxine Osmond, Continuing Education Coordinator for Northern Lights College, Tumbler Ridge campus attended the conference to learn more about the program and how Tumbler Ridge could benefit.
The Mining Camp program was developed two years ago, by Northwest Community College and Smithers Exploration Group; the companies later joined forces to create the School of Exploration and Mining. The school is set up in a remote location in the wilderness. Training will be delivered in a camp environment over an eight day period. Students will attain entry-level skills for the Mining Industry such as GPS, map, compass and note-taking basics; wilderness safety and survival; safety and field communications; grid layout methods; basic rock and soil sampling techniques and core splitting. Additional certificates in WCB Occupational First Aid and Transportation Endorsement are required in order to fulfill the training requirements to attain this Mining Exploration Field Assistant Certificate (MEFA).
The uniqueness of this program has become a contributing factor to its success over the last several years. The Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources has been a strong supporter and has given funding to the School of Exploration and Mining, to help continue this successful program.
This Mining Camp program will not only provide residences with valuable entry-level skills that will enable them to become employable in the Mining Industry, it will also provide them with transferable skills into other industries in other regions. Local industry will benefit in many ways by hiring these mining camp graduates. Employers can expect to see cost savings in training expenses, higher productivity and lower employee turnovers.
Northern Lights College decided to become a partner and offer camps in Dease Lake, Atlin and Tumbler Ridge. Dease Lake and Atlin will run their camps in June. The Tumbler Ridge Mining Camp is scheduled for July 18-25. Tuition will be $500 and class size is limited to 16 students. Students must pass a pre-entrance exam before acceptance into the camp.
For more information on this program contact Maxine Osmond at the Northern Lights College.