Northern College Celebrates First Graduation of Nunavut Welding Program

Northern College News and Events

KIRKLAND LAKE, ON: Northern College and the Hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut, are celebrating the successful completion of the first delivery of the Arviat Welding Trade Readiness program. The program was delivered through a partnership between the college and the hamlet, with support from Kivalliq Mine Training Society, Agnico-Eagle Mines, Ltd., and Kivalliq Partners in Development.

The Welding Trade Readiness program was designed to prepare students for work in Nunavut’s construction and mining industries. It was developed in direct response to the demand for welding helpers for a variety of projects scheduled to start in Nunavut over the course of the next year, including Agnico-Eagle’s Meliadine advanced-stage gold project.

“Modern industry is looking for workers with the sort of high-skills education and training available at Northern College,” said Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. “By creating a pathway for the people of Arviat to access the high quality training we deliver, we’re helping the community, its people, and local industry thrive.”

The students were guided on-site by Northern College instructor Bruce Fournier. As part of their training, the seven students fabricated a fish and seal cleaning station, which will serve as both a donation to the community and as the students’ final project.

“The Hamlet of Arviat’s Community Economic Development Plan is heavily focused on targeted training for mining and construction industry jobs,” said Keith Collier, the Community Economic Development Officer for Arviat. “We also recognize that many Arviammiut still rely heavily on traditional hunting to support their families. While the Welding Trade Readiness Program will open doors for the seven graduates, their major project is also a great contribution to the traditional economy of the community.”

Northern College has worked with the Arviat Training Initiative Advisory Group, and has helped to develop training activities in line with the needs of Nunavut’s growing mining industry. The college has also assisted the Hamlet in establishing the welding lab where the Welding Trade Readiness program took place.

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(Back row, centre) Northern College Instructor Bruce Fournier, with graduates (clockwise from top left) Jonathan Mukyungnik, Louis Jr Irkok, Hallauk Karetak, Derrick Gibbons, Jimmy Pingushat, Rene Aggark and Nathan Amarudjuak

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