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Mining careers at fingertips

Fast access to safety qualifications, credentials and even job postings. There's an app for that.
Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault, left, Don Duval, CEO of NORCAT, middle and Tina Montgomery, a volunteer with the Ontario trillium Foundation, pose with a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion of when the foundation provided $75,000 to help the innovation mill produce the Safety Wallet app, a tool people can download on their phones to have access from everything to qualifications to job postings in the mining industry.

Fast access to safety qualifications, credentials, and even job postings. There's an app for that.

NORCAT showed their appreciation to the Ontario Trillium Foundation on August 22 in funding a youth career app to help students from high school to new post-secondary and trades graduates find resources they need to jumpstart a career in mining.

Titled the Safety Wallet, it is currently available for download on Google Play and the iStore to download to phones.

“Safety Wallet is a mobile tool with a variety of purposes,” said Don Duval, CEO of NORCAT. “It can allow access to training records for said individual using the app. It can be a compliance tool, whereby you have a worker in the field and someone is doing an audit to validate the workers' training records you can use the Safety Wallet to scan that individual's NORCAT card to ensure they have the right credentials to be on that site.”

The main reason for the event at NORCAT was to announce the app has a resource section that shows users the career options open to them in the mining industry.

This is important, Duval said, with the impending worker shortage looming over the industry. The app would help young people from as early as high school to choose a mining career, access resources to pursue it and eventually find a job, all from their phones.

The app is especially timely, he said, as so many young people use their phones and apps to do anything. The technology fits well with their current lifestyle and brings all the information they need right to their hands.

“So many youth are already fully immersed in this technology, so why not put it where they can see it?” he said.

“A lot of youth are asking questions about what the future looks like in the mining industry. They have an engaging, exciting tool where they can go and read about career opportunities, watch YouTube videos, read about what those careers might be.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation provided $75,000 in funding to help develop the app.

Glenn Thibeault, MPP for Sudbury, was on hand to present a plaque to commemorate the development of the app.

“As a layman, looking outside, it's exciting to see the innovation coming from NORCAT,” he said. “When we have an app, we know most young people utilize apps and technology for the way they manipulate the world, now.”

He added the app would entice people to learn more about all aspects of mine careers, from training to WHIMIS and having access to certificates, as well as encourage more young people to choose mining as a career.