Northern mine develops essential skills in its workforce

By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/18/2005

Applicants for entry-level jobs at BHP Billiton’s Ekati Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories aren’t required to have minimum schooling levels.

That’s because when the mine first opened in 1998, recruiters quickly realized that a number of candidates — most of whom were northern Aboriginals — just couldn’t meet an educational minimum.

Most had considerably less than grade nine schooling, said Trevor Weir, training superintendent at the Ekati Diamond Mine. “The pool was not large enough, so we decided not to make educational standard a criterion for hiring.”