Baffinland and QIA launch apprenticeship program at Mary River Mine: Fourteen Inuit trades assistants have begun work at the Mary River Mine

March 6, 2018

Iqaluit, Nunavut – March 6, 2018 – Baffinland Iron Mines (Baffinland) in partnership with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), have  launched the Qikiqtani Skills and Training for Employment Partnership (Q-STEP) program in November 2017. As part of the program, Baffinland, in partnership with QIA, is pleased to announce that 14 Inuit from the Q-STEP program have joined Baffinland as part of a new apprenticeship program.

Spread across the company’s operations departments, the trades assistants will gain valuable first-hand experience job shadowing experienced employees and learning more about the basics of mining operations.

“The group of Inuit who will be trades assistants will have a valuable opportunity to gain on-the job experience,” says QIA President P.J. Akeeagok, “this initiative will be an important step towards ensuring that more Inuit are employed in mining in our region.”

The trades assistant position is the first step of the apprenticeship program, which Baffinland is implementing for the first time in its history.

“Our new apprenticeship program is one of the key initiatives Baffinland is introducing with its partners to provide training and employment opportunities to residents Qikiqtani communities,” explains Brian Penney, president and chief executive officer of Baffinland.

The new program allows Inuit to become Baffinland employees while completing the educational and experience requirements to be certified in a skilled trades.

“Young Indigenous people are the fastest-growing part of Canada’s population, and it benefits us all to ensure they have the skills and training they need to find good jobs. Breaking down barriers to employment will help grow our economy in a way that gives everyone a real and fair chance at success,” says the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

For the next six months, the trades assistants will job shadow Baffinland’s carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, and more, learning about their respective trades. Upon successful completion of the six-month term, candidates will have written their Trades Entrance exam. Pending successful enrollment in their respective trades programs they will become full-time, permanent apprentices at Baffinland.

This training program is one of the initiatives introduced as part of Q-STEP which is supported by Kakivak. Additional recruitment efforts for the Q-STEP program will be undertaken with Tuttarvik, the Inuit Labour Pool database.

For information on how to register with Tuttarvik, please contact QIA via at Tuttarvik@QIA.CA

Qikiqtani Skills and Training for Employment Partnership (Q-STEP) is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Skills and Partnership Fund.

About Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation

Jointly owned by Nunavut Iron Ore and ArcelorMittal, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation operates a high-grade iron ore mine located on Baffin Island, Nunavut. Our mine produces the highest grade of direct shipping iron ore in the world. Baffinland has applied for permits to increase annual shipments to 12 million tonnes. Baffinland is committed to operating the Mary River Mine in an environmentally and socially responsible manner that benefits all stakeholders.

Media inquiries can be directed to:
Jason Leite
Communications Specialist
Phone: (416) 364-8820 ext. 5032
Cell: (416) 529-2624

About the Qikiqtani Inuit Association

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) is a not-for-profit society which represents approximately 14,000 Inuit in the Qikiqtani (Baffin) Region of Nunavut, including 13 communities from Grise Fiord in the High Arctic to Sanikiluaq (Belcher Islands) in the southeast of Hudson Bay. QIA’s mission is to safeguard, administer and advance the rights and benefits of the Qikiqtani Inuit; and to promote Inuktitut and Inuit traditions, environmental values, self-sufficiency, and economic, social and cultural well-being in an open and democratic forum. Under Article 39 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, QIA is considered a Designated Inuit Organization (DIO) responsible for managing Inuit Owned Lands in the Qikiqtani Region.

QIA media inquiries directed to:
Sima Sahar Zerehi,
Director of Communications,
Qikiqtani Inuit Association
Ph: (867) 975.8413
Ph: 1.800.667.2742