Northern College’s Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core Program Celebrates Ten Years of Training Excellence

Northern College News and Events

Friday, March 31, 2017

KIRKLAND LAKE, ON: The 25th cohort of Northern College’s Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program entered the workforce today. Just as Northern celebrates its 50th anniversary, a milestone for the Northern School of Diamond Drilling was marked during the graduation ceremony. The program celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Over the past ten years, 214 program graduates have benefitted from Northern College’s solid reputation and industry support. Based on the success of past programs and in light of the present workforce demand in the mining exploration sector, most of the graduates will be picked up very quickly by industry.

Towards the end of the Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core 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 for one week. This provides the trainees with experience working in an authentic drilling environment while evaluating both their strengths and skills in need of improvement.

“This training 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,” said Rose-Lyne D’Aoust-Messier, Training Consultant with Northern College. “We work closely with key industry partners, allowing us to provide quality hands-on experience and networking opportunities to our students.”

Northern’s Haileybury School of Mines, together with drilling industry partners, developed this modular training program to cover the basic knowledge and skills required to work competently as an assistant to a Surface or Underground Diamond Drill Operator. Program topics focus on the latest in health and safety, use of equipment, current technologies, and environmental protection, catering to the growing demand for skilled workers in local, national and international markets.

A number of diamond drilling companies participate in the program’s advisory committee, providing expertise, equipment and opportunities for work placements and graduate employment. Atlas Copco, Cabo Drilling, Bradley Brothers Ltd., Boart Longyear, Foraco Canada, Forage Orbit Garant Drilling, Levert Drilling, Spektra Drilling, Norex Drilling, Asinii Drilling, and Major Drilling have all been excellent supporters of the program throughout the years.

“Some of these companies sent representatives to the graduation for a very good reason – to get the first choice of the graduates by offering employment contracts to them as they accept their certificates,” said D’Aoust-Messier.

In partnership with the Hamlet of Arviat, Northern College offers the Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program in Nunavut, and has graduated 65 Inuit students since 2011.

The next Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program begins May 15, 2017, in Kirkland Lake. For more information about the program, or to enroll in the next intake, contact Northern Training Division, by phone at 705.567.9291 ext. 3667 or by email at

PICTURED (LEFT TO RIGHT): James Foulds, Brian Edwards, Dean Robbins, Jack McClurkin, Marcel Langlois, Hugh Garvin, Tim Wilson, Austin MacFarlane, Jaime Mattard


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