About Mining Essentials

Mining Essentials is a pre-employment training program for Indigenous peoples who are interested in a career in mining. The program teaches both the essential skills and work readiness skills necessary to gain an entry-level position in the Canadian mining industry. Mining Essentials is the first step towards a rewarding career!

This program was created to help companies and communities meet joint hiring and employment targets. Mining Essentials allows companies to benefit from a local, skilled and safety-conscious workforce that also fosters economic development, resulting in healthier communities.

An Aboriginal woman controlling an equipment simulator. A screen shows how the equipment is being controlled.

How does it work?

Mining Essentials teaches skills using industry examples, tools, documents and traditional Indigenous teaching methods and mediums. It is a 360 hour training program that combines two components for an empowering learning experience:

1. Classroom training on essential and work-readiness (non-technical) skills that the industry has validated as necessary for entry-level hires.

2. Enrichment activities that bring industry to life through site visits, hands-on activities, guest speakers, and certifications, as defined by training sites and their partners.

Training must involve three-way partnerships between communities, educators and industry.

Mining Essentials was created through a partnership between MiHR and the Assembly of First Nations, with Indigenous groups, educators and industry members overseeing its development.


  • Many graduates either got jobs from industry partners or decided to pursue further education and training. Since the program’s launch, graduation has remained above 70%
  • Every learner reported he or she learned more about employment opportunities in the mining industry and about life skills
  • Every learner stated that his or her skills and confidence grew throughout the training
  • Mining industry employer partners reported they were impressed with the students they met
  • Over 90 per cent of learners reported they now know what is necessary to work in the mining industry and viewed their trainers as helpful and enthusiastic
  • Trainers and educators agreed that with some additional technical training, most graduates were ready to start work

Become a training site

Partnerships are critical. Each location must have strong education, industry and community associates onboard, qualified trainers and participation from at least one Indigenous Elder.

Training Sites must provide MiHR with a demonstration of capacity to deliver the program. This provides MiHR, the AFN and the Advisory Group with the required information of the site's ability to deliver the Mining Essentials program based on its training standard, safeguarding the program’s quality and consistency across Canada.

Financial requirements will vary depending on factors such as transportation, trainer salaries, travel, and childcare allowances. Sites can obtain funding from provincial, territorial or federal Indigenous training programs, industry contributions and partnerships. Authorized training sites will be responsible for funding themselves to deliver the program.

For more information on how to become a Mining Essentials training site, please contact miningessentials@mihr.ca.