Mineral Exploration

Spring 2014

Mineral Exploration is the official publication of the Association of Mineral Exploration British Columbia.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/264766

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Page 23 of 51

24 S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 Photographs : Nor thwe st Communit y College B ritish Columbia is innovating to ensure the minerals indus- try has its next generation of employees ready for work, thanks to six initiatives ranging from mentoring to driver training. One of the most inspirational ideas for developing the new generation comes from Patrick McAndless, vice-president of exploration with Imperial Metals. He warns that, "[while] Canadian geoscien- tists and engineers are worldleaders right now, that will not be the case in the next 10 years unless we support and guide the next generation in our industry." To head off that shortage, McAndless has spoken at 80 post-secondary institu- tions across North America and Europe. He inspires students to choose exploration and mining and then mentors them at each stage of career development and work. This mentoring road trip has taken McAndless from the Ivy League institu- tions to the Ganokwa training camp run by the Northwest Community College School of Exploration and Mining near Smithers, B.C. He brings students to their feet, shouting their passion for their new careers, and they leave with a practi- cal process for creating marketing tools for getting discovered. Anderson Leung is currently studying mineral resource engineering, but in 2012 he was simply a student at the Ganokwa training camp where McAndless spent an evening. "Mr. McAndless goes out of his way to help geosciences students succeed in school and on the job," says Leung. "In my case, Mr. McAndless let me partici- pate in Imperial Metals' mentoring pro- gram, where I gained my very rst invalu- able eld experience." Mentoring on a larger scale, the new B.C. Centre of Training Excellence in Mining ( CTEM) will provide B.C.'s post- secondary institutions with a central point for sharing expertise in minerals training. "The British Columbia govern- ment has shown innovation in launching the new Centre," says CTEM chair Dave Lefebure. "It will help facilitate collabo- ration between colleges and universities and the mineral industry in develop- ing responsive training programmes." Administered t hrough Nort hwest Community College in Smithers, CTEM will operate as a "virtual" hub. Also in Smithers, an innovative part- nership is giving 16 high school students a head start on a career closely connected to the minerals industry. Students in the Environmental Monitor Assistant Program earn high school gradua- tion credits as well as credits at nearby Northwest Community College. Funding for the dual-credit program comes from the BC Mining Human Resources Task Force with contributions from School District 54, the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, the Of ce of the Wet'suwet'en, Smithers Exploration Group, and Imperial Metals Corporation. Partnerships between AME BC and two training institutions re ect the new strategic plan's commitment to training for First Nations. The rst initiative, with the British Columbia Institute of Technolog y (BCIT), takes minerals training to First Nation communities. The Aboriginal Minerals Training Program (A MTP) is designed to build the skills needed INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS ARE TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF MINERALS INDUSTRY WORKERS BY CHRISTINE OGRYZLO Back to school Tomorrow's explorers: Patrick McAndless, VP exploration for Imperial Metals, with students, staff and elders at Camp Ganokwa, Smithers, at the August 2013 graduation ceremony of the Workforce Exploration and Skills Training (WEST) program. Bright prospects: McAndless presents an award to a WEST student at Camp Ganokwa. p24-25_Training.indd 24 14-02-14 3:07 PM

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