Agnico Eagle Mining described as doing things right when it comes to training and retaining Indigenous workers

A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says employers looking to hire and keep northern Indigenous employees could learn from a Canadian gold mining company, Agnico Eagle Mines.

The study, Working Together: Indigenous Recruitment and Retentionwas put together by researchers with the board’s centre for the North. Researchers interviewed dozens of corporations, public sector employers and Indigenous employees and found many employees often don’t apply for jobs because of a lack of education, life skills and housing support.

When it comes to Indigenous employment in mining, Nunavut is the front runner. Ninety-seven per cent of Nunavut residents who work in the industry in the territory are Indigenous. In the Northwest Territories, it’s 52 per cent.

The study highlighted a set of training programs run by Agnico Eagle, which owns the Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet and the Meadowbank mine north of Baker Laker. It offers week-long, Indigenous-run training programs which teach potential mine employees life skills, such as punctuality and how to cope with homesickness.

Once they’ve completed that course, participants are invited to Meadowbank where they are trained to fill a variety of entry-level jobs.

“After completing the program, interested participants are considered as candidates and are typically hired within a month,” the study states.

Once employed, Agnico Eagle works with its Indigenous employees on a plan to get them into a more skilled, higher paying position.

Originally posted on by Hilary Bird on April 1, 2019