Developing Skills at Stope School

Sep 21, 2018 5:25 AM ET

As part of our commitment to workplace diversity, Red Lake Gold Mines implemented the Stope School Program in 2007.

The Stope School Program is a Common Core training program that trains both local and First Nations people who are interested in working in an underground mining environment. The program runs for three months and consists of Underground Hard Rock modules, as well as other specialty modules. The Stope School Program prepares the trainees to enter the workforce knowing the basics of mining with safety as a priority. Training consists of theory and practical activities consistent with the guidelines outlined by the Common Core Modules, a series of programs administered by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).

Day one of the program includes surface induction, where trainees learn how to wear, adjust and maintain personal protective equipment, as well as how to operate a fire extinguisher. Days two and three are spent underground, where trainees learn to perform general inspections, and how to scale loose rock and run motors. Following the induction, they continue the training program with the Common Core instructor. The students then attend the underground Stope School Training Center for the remainder of the program.

Pierre Peloquin, one of the trainers at the Stope School says, “We understand that this is a new and overwhelming environment, and we help reassure the trainees by making them aware of the safety standards we have in place to make the workplace as safe as possible. This hands-on training provides trainees with the ability to learn and become comfortable doing the job. They are taught the safe and proper way of doing each task and can then take these new underground mining skills as they move into the workforce.”

In 2018, the Red Lake Gold Mines Stope School Program once again received an overwhelming diversified pool of applicants both internally and externally. Four sessions made up of 10 trainees per session were implemented throughout the year. Majority of these employees are now in full time positions within the Mine Department, filling roles in logistics, construction as well as in the Hoist.

Learn how the Stope School and other Goldcorp programs are building our workforce and leaders of tomorrow in our 2017 Sustainability Report.