The Workplace Context
The Key Lake Operation is one of CAMECOs northern Saskatchewan mining and milling sites which has been in operation for 20 years. However, as the ore depleted a number of years ago, the mill underwent adjustments to process a much higher grade ore from another mine site 78 kilometers on an all weather road.
Over the years the mining industry has become more technically advanced and employees are faced with new machinery and techniques. Recognizing the need to foster a culture of lifelong learning in the workplace for a workforce with an average age of 41 and rusty grade levels in a number of academic subjects, CAMECO realized that the issue of academic upgrading had to be addressed. Worth noting here is that 50% of the employees are residents of Saskatchewans north who didnt have access to advanced education in many cases, and whose second language is English.
CAMECO, in partnership with Northlands College and the Mineral Sector Steering Committee has been providing an academic learning centre at two of the mine sites for the past six years to enhance their many in-house training programs. The Learning Centre is open to all employees, and the company matches one hour for one hour of employee time spent at the Centre. Also, the company reimburses employees who take advanced, community college or university classes if the learner is successful. This action research project is situated in the context of the Learning Centre.
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