KIRKLAND LAKE, ON: On Thursday, March 28, 2013, the 16th cohort of Northern College’s Surface Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program will enter the workforce. Over the past five years, over 150 program graduates have benefitted from Northern College’s solid reputation and industry support. A number of diamond drilling companies participate in the program’s advisory committee, providing expertise, equipment and opportunities for work placements and graduate employment.
Angela Prevost has broken new ground by becoming the first female Aboriginal to graduate from this intensive 10-week training program. Angela received the Len Webster Memorial Award, recognizing a student for respecting cultural values of others. The award is presented by the Webster family since 2009 in memory of Len Webster who was one of the program`s instructors. Len always adapted his teaching methods according to the individual needs – recognizing communication difficulties and cultural differences.
Toward the end of the training program, students complete a work placement. Trainees are interviewed by top drilling companies, selected and placed on operating drills to train as helpers with a driller/helper team. This provides the trainees with additional experience in an authentic drilling environment, while evaluating both their strengths and skills in need of improvement. 92 percent of program graduates are hired within one month of attaining their diploma, in many instances by their placement employer.
“This program has been a great success for all parties involved, especially our graduates who go on to find work in one of the most in-demand industries both nationally and abroad,” says Rose-Lyne D’Aoust-Messier, Training Consultant with Northern College. “We are very proud of our students’ successes and look forward to increased diversity in the program”
The Surface Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program was created in 2006 through a partnership between Cabo Drilling, the Canadian Diamond Driller Association and Northern College’s Haileybury School of Mines. The program focuses on new personnel procedures in health and safety, current technologies and environmental concerns, catering to the growing demand for skilled workers in national and international markets. Northern College joined forces with Atlas Copco in 2008, purchasing one of their drills for student use with additional help from FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Foraco Canada, Cabo Drilling, Orbit Garant, Levert Drilling, Major Drilling, Boart Longyear and Canadian Driller Training have further augmented the program’s value by providing work placements and certified driller expert trainers.
In partnership with the Hamlet of Arviat, Northern College offers the Surface Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program in Nunavut, and has graduated 30 Inuit students since 2011.
The training program is based on the modularized common core training standards and guidelines developed by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). The next Surface Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program begins October 1, 2013, with two additional intakes planned for 2013.
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