Carving a New Career Path in Nunavut
Agnico Eagle is in the process of hiring over 1,000 people to help bring two new mining sites in Nunavut into production – in addition to the 1,500 people we already employ in the north.
That is an ambitious hiring goal but one our team of human resource professionals is working toward by ensuring Inuit from our northern communities have the opportunities they need to join our growing workforce and to advance their career.
We have developed four paths toward upward mobility for Inuit candidates and current employees – the Nunavut Labour Pool, our Career Paths program, various Trainee programs, and our Pre-Trade and Apprenticeship programs.
Nunavut Labour Pool: The goal of this program is to pre-qualify Kivalliq candidates, offering pre-employment development opportunities to Inuit from all Kivalliq communities. Participants must attend the five-day Work Readiness and Site Readiness training program, as well as complete mandatory training by e-learning. We host quarterly employment information sessions in each community to ensure everyone in the Kivalliq is aware of job opportunities in the Nunavut Labour Pool.
Career Paths Program: This program supports internal promotions for all employees and ensures that internal candidates have priority over external candidates (southerners) when filling a position that is part of a specific path. Specifically, it is designed to provide the opportunity for Inuit employees who have limited formal skills or education to gain upward mobility/progress in their career. The program identifies the incremental steps that an employee is required to accomplish to advance in their chosen career of interest – a combination of work experience, hours of worked at a given job, training, and skills development for an employee to achieve each step.
Trainee Programs: We now offer three trainee programs to encourage and support upward career paths for our employees – a process plant program, an underground program and a haul truck program. The haul truck program is popular among Inuit employees, who are given an opportunity to build a career in the mining industry.
Pre-trade and Apprenticeship Programs: Many Inuit are interested in becoming an apprentice. However, there is a high failure rate at the trades’ entrance exam due to low level of comprehension, literacy and numeracy skills. This is recognized as a problem within the mining industry and across the private sector in Nunavut. We collaborate with the Kivalliq Training Society and Nunavut Arctic College to support pre-trades programs, both on-site and off, to help address this problem by working on improving literacy and numeracy skills of the potential candidates.
Our Apprenticeship program – available at Meadowbank since 2012 – combines on-the-job learning and in-school technical training. By the end of the four year program, most apprentices are able to obtain their Certificate of Qualification (COQ). This certification allows the employee to reach the highest position available in their selected Career Path and grants them interprovincial recognition in their trade. At Agnico Eagle, apprentices are currently able to register in one of the following trades: cook, carpenter, millwright, electrician, heavy duty equipment technician, welder and plumber.