"Tamatumani" - a second start for the Inuit

posted: 04/07/2018

In the far north of Canada, our Raglan Mine has initiated the “Tamatumani” training programme for the Inuit, a group of indigenous people who live in Nunavik, Quebec. The two-year course trains participants to be miners and then, on completion, offers them permanent positions at Raglan Mine, our nickel extraction facility in the region. 

The origins of an innovative project
Nunavik is a large region of around 12,000 inhabitants in northern Quebec, Canada. This remote area is where Raglan Mine is located. 

In 1995, Glencore and five Inuit partners signed the Raglan Agreement. This historic moment redefined the concept of social responsibility for a mining company. The agreement covered the creation of permanent job opportunities for the Inuit, the development of their individual and professional capabilities, and the long-term economic development of Nunavik. 

The programme’s success depended, and still depends, on co-operation with partners in the community. These partners collaborate on the annual review of the strategic plan, as well as assisting with the recruitment of potential employees and helping build relationships between the Inuit community and the company. The inclusion of local representatives is crucial. With their support, the company can identify the real needs of local communities and ensure the region’s strategic development is taken into account. 

With a workforce of approximately 1,050, Raglan Mine is one of the largest employers in the region. More than 21 percent of its workers are Inuit, most of whom came to the mine through the Tamatumani programme, which was created in 2008. Raglan Mine’s social engagement and training for local people has earned Raglan Mine a good reputation. Today it is role model for mining operations in northern Quebec.

Training skilled workers
In 2013, Tamatumani launched its “RIDE” (Rapid Inuit Development & Employment) programme to encourage skilled and motivated Inuit to aim for more senior jobs. The “RIDE” project pursues two objectives: promoting individual careers, and nurturing relations with educational institutions. 

By supporting individual careers, Raglan Mine hopes to discover management talent among its employees and help them advance at work. The plan is that this will also motivate other employees to aim higher in their own careers. Programmes are individually designed and tailored to the particular candidate, helping participants achieve their career goals faster. The second goal of “RIDE” is to build relationships with educational institutions in the various regions of Quebec, focusing mainly on those that offer programmes specifically for Inuit or that have a high number of Inuit students. The aim is to encourage interest in mining careers. 

Supporting indigenous mining jobs

Tamatumani - a second start for the Inuit

Supporting indigenous mining jobs
Watch Film

Supporting indigenous mining jobs

Wide range of training opportunities
Tamatumani was specifically created to provide employment opportunities within Raglan Mine to Inuit people and to support the development of individual skills. The programme is continuously being developed and improved. Therefore, as well as “RIDE”, Tamatumani has launched the “Stope School”, a two-year training programme that prepares employees for working in mines. Another project is the recently introduced “Building Maintenance” programme. This lasts two years and teaches skills relating to construction, electricity and installation. 

The training programme helps the Inuit with their work, but also gives them useful skills for their private lives. The training modules range from English and French lessons, to courses on health, safety and work ethic. 

Scholarships for schooling 
A lot of young people drop out of school in Nunavik and only 53% of residents have a high school leaving certificate. 

To encourage young Inuits to complete their statutory education and aim for a tertiary, college or university education, Raglan Mine awards annual scholarships to school students from Nunavik. The incentive is working: after only a short time, student motivation and academic performance have improved noticeably. 

Nevertheless, it’s still also important to integrate Inuit people without a school leavers’ qualification into the world of work; so Raglan Mine has created customized positions that offer such employees a wealth of education and training opportunities.

Recruiting staff
The Tamatumani team has set up the “Inuit Employment Center” to receive and process applications from Inuit people. The centre maintains a database of employees interested in a job and takes care of all the steps required to appoint workers. It also ensures that any vacancies at Raglan Mine are advertised, and tries to reach new candidates outside the mine. The team also travels across Nunavik to meet people, interest them in mining and find potential candidates. 

Anyone interested in working with us can apply. Even Inuit from Nunavik who have no training are welcome; we will prepare them for work in the mining industry

Amélie Rouleau - Social engagement, Raglan Mine

Canada’s thriving mining industry
The mining industry in Canada will need approximately 100,000 new employees over the next ten years. Demand for local workers will increase accordingly. Integrating Inuit people into the labour market and enabling them to develop their skills is, therefore, extremely important, not least because it promotes the community’s economic independence. “Our aim is to ensure that each position at the mine could be occupied by an Inuit,” explains Amélie Rouleau, who is responsible for Raglan Mine’s social engagement. “Raglan Mine offers a lot of career opportunities. Anyone interested in working with us can apply. Even Inuit from Nunavik who have no training are welcome; we will prepare them for work in the mining industry,” she emphasizes.