Tahltan Nation Development (TNDC) and Tahltan Central Government (TCG) have partnered with the Government of British Columbia and several industry partners, to create a pilot Tahltan Nation Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) training program. Other industry partners on the project include; Centre of Training Excellence in Mining, Coast Mountain College, Contact North BC, Finning and Newcrest Mining.
The HEO program is designed to combine equipment training in Tahltan Territory with on the job, practical operating work experience and camp life exposure. As well, the training program will integrate Tahltan regional and traditional knowledge on local projects while tapping into senior experienced Tahltan operators.
The program will align with SkilledTradesBC (formerly Industry Training Authority) learning outcomes as well as the Mining in HR Council common competencies. It will provide a mixture of workplace safety training, underground miner fundamentals, HEO simulator training and at least 140 hours of hands-on training, focused on a progressive approach to learning heavy equipment operation over three years. Additional pieces of equipment will be added each year.
At the outset, the program will also support Tahltans living in traditional territory to aquire their class four, five and seven drivers’ licences and provide a one-week camp life orientation at the Red Chris mine.
Tahltan Territory, located in remote northwest British Columbia, is home to approximately 70% of B.C.'s resource-rich Golden Triangle, including two of the 10 operating metal mines in the province (Red Chris and Brucejack).
Tahltan Territory is also home to approximately 14% of Canada’s exploration expenditures, approximately 3% of the global exploration budget, roughly $295 million in mineral exploration expenditures and $1 billion of total projected mining production values.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity this course will create for Tahltans wishing to pursue a career that allows them to be trained in Tahltan Territory and encourages them to use their skills in our communities after completion,” said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government.
“World-class mining cannot exist in Tahltan Territory without Tahltans being included in the workforce. We support breaking down any barriers that have traditionally prevented our members from accessing employment opportunities. Tahltans must benefit from preferential hire by those operating in our territory. I am excited to see the doors that this program and partnership will open for Tahltans,” Day said.