Three participants remain in in half-million dollar drilling training program in Hay River in Canada’s Northwest Territories
Some members of the K’atlodeeche First Nation who were enrolled in a program run by the Mine Training Society say it’s not benefiting them.
The training course cost more than half a million dollars of federal taxpayers’ money.
Agnes Fabian participated in the Mine Training Society’s quarry training program which wraps up later this month.
The course was designed to certify people to do geological drilling, but she and others, along with the band’s education co-ordinator, thought they would end up certified as heavy equipment operators.
“For someone that possibly could have a good job at $30 an hour, quitting, to take this course, I just don’t find it worthwhile,” Fabian said.
When participants learned they would not get heavy equipment certificates many dropped out. Only three people remain in the program.
Companies such as Rowes Construction and McCaw North were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to take people out and prepare the quarry.
Trainees were paid $10 an hour whereas instructors were paid up to $1,000 a day.
Hilary Jones, general manager of the Mine Training Society, says training programs are expensive to stage.
“It does look like a lot of money, but you have to keep in mind that we had to rent equipment to do it,” she said. “You can’t teach someone to do drilling or other pieces without the equipment there.”
Jones says the dropout rate for the program is unusually high for training put on by the society.
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