Training & Development
As part of our objective to be an employer of choice, we are investing in and creating opportunities for our employees to learn on the job, receive relevant and high-quality training, and advance their careers within Pretivm. Job-related training and development provides our employees with new transferable skills while fostering their growth at Pretivm. This capacity building contributes to employee satisfaction and supports a productive and collegial work environment.
Pretivm has evolved from a mine developer to a mine operator, and we recognize that the coming years of production present an opportunity to retain and grow a stable, industry-leading workforce. In 2020, we have renewed our focus on workforce development including safety programs, job-specific and specialized trainings, and programs designed to help our managers and supervisors be effective and empowering leaders. Our training and development programs align with our commitment to promoting from within and providing people at all levels with a rewarding and enduring career at Pretivm.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for our operations, we successfully delivered our safety and technical training curriculum to our employees. We adapted to the logistical challenges by shifting training programs led by external partners to an online format, and abided by physical distancing and other sanitation guidelines for in-person trainings at the mine site. We continued to work with regional and provincial training institutions in pursuit of relevant and accessible training opportunities that will support a talent pipeline for the Mine, and a skilled regional labour force well beyond the mine life.
On-Site Training Programs
We provide on-site training programs for specialized skills related to specific roles and job functions, supporting our people to work safely and effectively. In 2020, we offered 58 types of training programs, totaling 25,491 hours of accumulated training time, including emergency response training (5,393 hours for the emergency response teams) and mandatory site orientations (2,824 hours). Training programs benefited workers across our business and provided employees with training specific to equipment use and risks present in their immediate work environment.
Training is primarily delivered by the Brucejack Mine’s dedicated in-house trainers and training coordinators, who address formal training needs and encourage on-the-job learning. We also support informal learning and skills development, and we partner with external trainers for some training needs. Leveraging our centralized training register at the Brucejack Mine, our training teams can easily document progress, identify upcoming training needs, and monitor training records for each worker to support their growth with Pretivm. As part of our efforts to build capacity and develop the careers of our Indigenous workers, 57% of training hours—including 78% of technical training hours for mill and surface operations and 18% of safety training hours—were attributed to our Indigenous employees.
The implementation of a formal apprenticeship program that was planned for 2020 had to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Pretivm employed four apprentices in trades and equipment operator positions, as well as three culinary apprentices working with our camp services department. Our Community Relations team continued efforts to engage with regional training institutions to position the Brucejack Mine as an employer of choice for those entering the skilled trades as apprentices.
In 2020, we continued to focus on safety and emergency response in our training programs; these topics represented about one third of all the training hours conducted and involved a large proportion of workers across the business. Safety-related training is further discussed in Courage to Care. Other courses addressed specialized, technical, and job-specific training needs. New additions to the training curriculum included mill and surface operations training and a program to cultivate the leadership practices of managers and supervisors.
Site orientation training is mandatory for anyone who comes to the Brucejack Mine. In 2020, 718 people attended site orientations at the Brucejack, Knipple, and Bowser sites, amounting to a total of 2,824 hours. We have recently evaluated our orientation program and will use the feedback to streamline our approach to site orientation in 2021, which will include the use of online modules such as videos and interactive exercises.
of workers received a performance evaluation in 2020
people promoted internally in 2020
hours of cumulative training
Developing Our Workers
Throughout 2020, we continued to develop and build our teams to promote internal candidates and support career development and progression within the company, while also recruiting externally to ensure a diverse talent pool. High performers are proactively identified via our annual performance and development review process, which supported a number of employee promotions and role changes at the mine in 2020. Over the year, 88% of workers completed the performance review process, including individual goal setting. We promoted 77 employees (13 of whom were Indigenous and 10 of whom were women). In addition to promotions, 46 workers changed their position to better align with their needs and career aspirations.
Learning From Each Other and Growing Together
Stephanie Nicholls has been with Pretivm since 2015 and was recently promoted to the position of Chief Mine Geologist. She discovered her passion for geology during her undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia, and began her career in the mining industry as a Core Technologist for a small exploration company near Williams Lake. She later worked as an Exploration Geologist in northern BC, where she developed the relationships that eventually led to her role at Pretivm’s Brucejack Mine.
Stephanie has found it gratifying to be part of the construction phase and then bringing the Brucejack Mine into production. “Implementing, then re-working and improving policies and procedures at the very beginning, then being able to look back at a successful operation later and know you were instrumental in the success is a pretty cool feeling,” she says.
Stephanie believes that the industry is changing for women and will continue to put equality at the forefront of hiring. Her favourite aspect of working at Pretivm is the culture and people, as well as the company’s commitment to promoting from within—something Stephanie has experienced first-hand as she worked her way up from her first role as Environmental Geological Technician. Through these career advancements, she has gained an understanding of what makes an operation tick. She also leverages her experience to mentor novice geologists and help them achieve their own unique successes. “Comradery is very important in a camp environment, so get to know your coworkers and share your successes with people you care about,” she recommends. “These relationships can be very rewarding and makes time spent at work fly by.”