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The 12-week program is designed to prepare local women for entry-level positions at a surface mine operation, including hands-on training on a Haul truck simulator, and well as a ride-along at Trend Mine. They learn the basic fundamentals of mining, and receive their first aid and most common safety tickets. Preference is given to unemployed mothers with children.

In total, 24 women will receive the training, and if successful, will end up working for Peace River Coal.

MLA for Peace River South Blair Lekstrom says it’s important to get women into the workforce, especially in trades.

“In rural and remote B.C. we need more women to enter the trades industry, particularly in trades that are expected to see an increase in job vacancies, like mining.” He adds, “The Mothers to Miners program at Northern Lights College is giving women in Northern B.C. a chance to enter a trades training program, while still meeting the demands of their busy family life.”

Mothers to Miners is unique, in that the mine has created a shift that allows the students to drop off and pick up their children from school before and after training. As a bonus, it’s completely tuition-free.

Funding for the Employment Skills Access initiative comes from almost $88,000 from the B.C. Government. The province is also funding $101,000 for 12 seats in a 12-week mining fundamentals program for both men and women at NLC’s Chetwynd campus.

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