Dig into Careers in Ontario’s Mining Industry

  Edge Factor Team   |     May 14, 2024 |   9 minute read
Line up of Ontario Mining workers in PPE

Success Stories & Educational Insights


Educators are tasked with preparing students for successful transitions into post-secondary education or the workforce after high school. As they look to their future, many students lack awareness of potential career pathways, particularly in the skilled trades across industries like mining. To address this gap, educators are seeking effective ways to connect students with resources to learn more about a career in the skilled trades, allowing them to explore diverse opportunities and acquire the skills needed for future success.


The Ontario mining industry is poised for unprecedented growth. Global demand for ethically sourced critical minerals and metals is surging, driven by the urgent need for renewable energy solutions to combat climate change. Ontario boasts exceptional geology, with established production of nickel and copper, alongside vast reserves of critical minerals yet to be tapped. To deliver on its ambition to be a critical mineral supplier of choice for a low-carbon future, the industry requires a skilled workforce to maintain its current operations and drive its future success.  


Join us as we explore the stories of individuals who have launched rewarding careers in mining, showcased through our continued partnership with This is Mine Life, an initiative by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA). By sharing these stories with your students, you are providing valuable insights into the diverse career pathways available, and fostering their personal and professional growth within the industry. You can inspire your students to envision a future in mining, a responsible industry, critical to our economy, and our green future.  And where Canada is a global leader.


Mining Careers: Explore the World Beneath Our Feet

Mining careers offer a diverse range of opportunities for individuals with various interests and skill sets. Whether learners are passionate about geology, engineering, technology, environmental sustainability, or community development, there's a role for everyone in Ontario’s mining industry. 


We have added over a dozen This is Mine Life features to our platform, including, Career Profiles, Geek Out Competencies, Soft Skills on the Job, and Safety Awareness videos. With these features, learners can explore ‘a day in the life’ of a Construction Miner, a Smelter Electrician, and a Mining Engineer, while learning about the technical skills and transferable soft skills needed to succeed in a career in mining. 


Brandon Levesque_Construction Miner_Blog Image

Meet Brandon Levesque, a Construction Miner at Glencore’s Nickel Rim South Mine in Sudbury, who thrives on the diversity and challenges of his role,  and the extraordinary nature of his ‘office’, which is nearly 1500m below the Earth’s surface. Brandon's enthusiasm for his job shines through as he describes his work, and the pride he takes in creating a safe working environment. 


Construction miners like Brandon are integral to building, repairing, and installing the structures necessary for mining operations. Brandon's journey into the field began with pursuing electrical studies. Through dedication and training, Brandon ‘learned while he earned,’ and now operates and maintains most of the equipment used underground at Glencore’s Nickel Rim South. Reflecting on his use of math and the importance of safety in his work, Brandon emphasizes the value of being open to new challenges.  Brandon's story exemplifies the excitement and opportunity that comes with a career in mining, where every day brings something new to learn and accomplish.


Insights from the Electrical Trade in Mining

Shannon Ducharme’s experience in the industry tells a similar story. Shannon is a dedicated Smelter Electrician at Glencore’s Sudbury Smelting facility and her role is vital in ensuring the smooth operation of the plant. Smelting is the process of extracting metal from ore. Shannon's schedule as a shift electrician varies between night and day shifts on a rotating basis, reflecting the dynamic nature of her job. 

Shannon Ducharme_Smelter Electrician_Blog image

As a troubleshooter, Shannon tackles a wide range of electrical issues, relying on her expertise and critical thinking skills to find solutions quickly. She emphasizes the importance of education and on-the-job training for aspiring Smelter Electricians, highlighting the need for a strong foundation in math, physics, and electronics. Shannon's role encompasses science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM), demonstrating the multifaceted nature of her work. Her story exemplifies the rewarding and dynamic nature of a career as an electrician in the mining industry. 

The career media also features Mining Engineering Students from Queens University competing in the Canadian Mining Games and sharing the technical and soft skills they are developing to be set up for success. This includes Soft Skills On the Job, like Confidence and Time Management; and Geek Out on Tools, Processes, and Competencies, such as the use of Mine Planning Software, and operating a Jackleg Drill underground. These insights offer valuable perspectives on the diverse skill sets required in the mining industry and inspire students to pursue careers in this exciting and future-facing field.


This is Mine Life!

The mining industry is looking for people ready to dig into studying the Earth and the environment, and to use their hands and minds to responsibly unlock the abundance of minerals and metals needed for a green future.  Get students started on their exploration journey with Edge Factor when you log in and discover This Is Mine Life content. 


Special thanks to the Ontario Mining Association, Canadian Mining Games, Queen’s University, NORCAT, and Glencore for working with the Edge Factor film crew to tell stories from behind the lens and to film numerous episodes to add to Edge Factor’s library, including Career Profiles, Skilled Responders and Geek Out on Tools & Equipment.


Setting up the people of Ontario for success, both now and in the long-term, has always been at the core of our government's mission,” said George Pirie, Minister of Mines. “That is why we are proudly supporting the Ontario Mining Association and Edge Factor's initiative to inspire brilliant people across Ontario to be the skilled laborers of tomorrow and work in our world-class mining industry. Mining in Ontario is thriving, and the world needs us to build a made-in-Ontario critical mineral supply chain that will power the electric vehicle revolution and the technologies of tomorrow."  


This partnership is an Employment Ontario project, funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. By harnessing the power of storytelling, this partnership aims to inspire, educate, and shape the future of the mining industry in Ontario.


Exploring Mining Careers: Your Journey Starts Here

Encourage your students to engage with interactive tools that bring mining careers to life. From virtual tours of mining sites to insights from industry experts, these tools provide an immersive learning experience that sparks curiosity and fosters exploration. By connecting students with real-world examples and experiences, you can help them make informed decisions about their future career paths.


Together, we can unlock the limitless potential of mining careers and shape a brighter future for the industry and our communities. By inspiring and empowering the next generation of miners, we can ensure the continued growth and success of the industry for years to come.


About Edge Factor 


As a leader in workforce and career development solutions, Edge Factor uses the power of storytelling to inspire people to explore, prepare, and connect on their Career Journey. Our platform offers schools, families, companies, and service providers access to a vast library of films, videos, activities, lesson plans, badges, and career tools. Through partnerships, global events, and film shoots, Edge Factor enriches our multimedia library with inspiring stories, career content, and gamified learning experiences. Answering national workforce challenges with community-based solutions, Edge Factor brings together organizations and families to support learners of all ages in achieving their career goals and launching rewarding pathways.


If you are interested in learning more about what an Edge Factor membership can unlock, create your free account or register for an upcoming live webinar


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