CNA, Vale partner to support careers in mining

Alternate pathway for those with diverse backgrounds and experiences

5/9/2022 11:33:25 AM

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, NL – College of the North Atlantic (CNA) has partnered with Vale Newfoundland and Labrador to create an alternate pathway for those interested in pursuing a career in the mining industry.

Home to one of the largest nickel deposits in the world, Vale’s Voisey’s Bay mine has been producing nickel from an open-pit since 2005 and is currently ramping up hiring for the underground mine expansion. The transition to underground involves the development of two underground mines – Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps. The ability to mine and process ore from underground will continue to generate local employment for many years to come.
One of the underground mines at Vale's Voisey's Bay site. Contributed photo.

The college’s Office of Customized and Continuous Learning (CCL) specializes in providing specific training to meet industry needs, helping job seekers stay competitive and successful. In this case, CNA will be providing an alternate pathway for potential entry-level applicants to Vale so they can meet employment eligibility criteria.

Applicants, who do not have the traditional minimum Grade 10 education requirements for a particular job, can now complete the TOWES (Test of Workplace Essential Skills) assessments to assess their eligibility.

“The company is aware there is a pool of qualified candidates out there who would like the opportunity to start a career in the mining industry, but many, while they may be highly skilled, are screened out because they don’t meet specific credentials,” said Judy Dobson, CNA’s Director of CCL. “With the introduction of this additional screening tool, the goal is to reduce barriers that have been preventing potential job seekers from gaining meaningful employment in this field.”
Underground mining employees at Vale's Voisey's Bay site in Labrador. Contributed photo.

Jobs, such as Mine Operators, Mill Operators, Maintenance Assistants, Job Readiness Trainees, and Underground Trainees, are just a few of the entry-level positions at Voisey’s Bay.

“We recognize that people come from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and learning,” said John O’Shaughnessy, General Manager, Labrador Operations. “We all can’t gain entry points into the workforce exactly the same way, and we are very pleased to have worked with CNA to develop a more flexible pathway for employment at our mine site.”

Voisey’s Bay mine is a fly-in/fly-out operation located on the traditional lands of two Indigenous groups – the Nunatsiavut Inuit and the Labrador Innu Nation. Indigenous participation is a hallmark of the Voisey’s Bay operations.

CNA’s initial offering of these assessments (the first being on Wednesday, May 18) will be held at four sites throughout the province: Corner Brook, Gander, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and St. John’s, and will be expanded to Labrador coastal communities, as need warrants.
An aerial view of the Voisey's Bay site in Labrador. Contributed photo.

More information about the schedule can be seen and assessment preparation can be found HERE or by contacting the following campuses: Happy Valley-Goose Bay, 709-896-6300; Prince Philip Drive in St. John’s, 709-758-7284; Corner Brook, 709-637-8530; and, Gander, 709-651-4802.

To learn more about CNA, visit:

Career opportunities at Vale can be found at:

Media contacts:

Michelle Barry
Communications Manager
College of the North Atlantic

Susanne Hiller
Newfoundland and Labrador Operations
Corporate Affairs
M: 709 725 4714

About Vale
Vale is one of the world's largest producers of high-quality and low-carbon nickel products and an important producer of copper and responsibly sourced cobalt. With headquarters in Toronto, Canada, and operations in Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, Manitoba, Indonesia and Brazil, the Base Metals business delivers critical building blocks for a cleaner, greener future. For more information visit:

About CNA
CNA is the largest post-secondary educational and technical skills training centre in Atlantic Canada; enrolling learners each year in more than 100 full-time programs across five schools: Academics, Applied Arts, and Tourism; Business and Information Technology; Engineering Technology; Health Sciences; and Natural Resources and Industrial Trades. For nearly 60 years, since the opening of Trades and Vocational School campuses throughout Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), college education has evolved and responded to the education and training needs of this province. Today, CNA has multiple campuses and delivers programs and services to students in NL and across the globe, including online delivery and blended learning opportunities. CNA also recently ramped up its educational development outreach partnering with other institutions to bring Canadian standards, curriculum, and instructional approaches in trades education to developing countries. Additional information on CNA’s mandate and lines of business can be found on the CNA website: