International Minerals Innovation Institute and Saskatchewan Polytechnic announce mining digital upskilling pilot project

Image credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

This digital upskilling pilot project is custom built for IMII members to support Saskatchewan’s mining sector

June 2, 2021 – The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic digital upskilling pilot project will provide digital skills training to address the technology shift the mining sector is experiencing. While this technological evolution improves productivity and efficiency in the mining industry, it also creates a need for upskilling employees to keep up with digital advances. This pilot project is funded by IMII and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Immigration and Career Training.

“The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to support this partnership between the mining sector and Sask Polytech,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “The opportunity to support the development of tools to quickly upskill a wide variety of sectors will be help to address skills shortages and expedite the economic recovery in our province.”

Sask Polytech has been consulting with subject matter experts from the mining industry to identify gaps in knowledge and build a digital training pilot project to meet the training needs of IMII members. Investing in retraining employees is becoming an urgent business priority as the skills mining companies require continue to shift. IMII and Sask Polytech recognize that it is important to invest in retraining and upskilling employees for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“Digital training that aligns with the needs of an industry are important as they are beneficial to both the employer and the employee, as well as students looking to join an industry post-graduation,” says Al Shpyth, IMII’s executive director. “Those already in the mining workforce can upskill and keep up-to-date with emerging practices and technologies. We are very happy to partner with Sask Polytech in this Saskatchewan and industry first.”

“This collaborative pilot project with IMII will address the training needs for the technology jobs that the mining industry currently requires, the jobs they will need in the future, and the core digital skills that are essential for these careers,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO. “Saskatchewan’s mining sector is operating in a global market. Mining companies, the jobs they create and the skills necessary to be successful, are evolving.  Training and upskilling are more critical than ever.”

Employees in the mining industry may need to switch occupational categories as digitization, automation, and advances in artificial intelligence disrupt their work environment. The digital upskilling pilot project will create the channels necessary for IMII members to access learning materials on a needs-basis. The courses in the pilot project will be offered in an asynchronous, self-paced, flexible, online learning environment. The pilot project is expected to launch in fall 2021.