Our People

Empowering Female Apprentices through Experiential Learning

February 11, 2021

Empowering women and supporting their career growth in mining has been a key commitment of Teck’s Carmen de Andacollo (CdA) apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program has a unique recruitment requirement; at least 50 per cent of apprentices selected must be women from the Andacollo community. Since 2010, more than 320 women have benefitted directly from this innovative program that helps build careers, starting at an introductory intern level and moving through to industry employment opportunities.

The CdA apprenticeship program is aimed at contributing to participants’ comprehensive growth in the mining field. This initiative promotes gender parity in the apprentice selection process and is specifically designed to support the greater inclusion of women in mining.

The program has four key goals: 

Local focus

The program is focused on providing opportunities for local students in the areas close to CdA. This local focus also helps meet Teck’s goal of providing growth and development opportunities for local communities, which is consistent with our social responsibility guidelines. 

Empowering women

Historically, mining has been a male-dominated industry. Initiatives such as the CdA apprenticeship program have helped change this trend over the past decade. As part of Teck’s strategic plan, we have worked to increase the number of women at our operations, which has not only led to greater diversity and inclusion, but a stronger workforce. 

Leading and learning by example

Key to the Teck CdA apprenticeship program is its focus on experiential learning. Students have hands-on opportunities to learn from a tutor supervisor and to work directly in a team environment. The majority of apprentices are assigned to the Mine Maintenance and Plant Maintenance areas. This puts students on the front lines of operations and exposes them to critical processes, enabling them to learn, experience and reflect on the mining methods employed.

Employment opportunities

The apprenticeship program supports students throughout the application process, training and growth phases, and through to the employment stage. Many students are selected for permanent positions at Teck or connected contracting companies. Apprentices who perform well during their internship, display a proactive attitude towards their work and show interest in learning, are most often successful in finding employment at the end of the program. 

Teck continues to work towards building a diverse workforce, which includes increasing the percentage of women working at Teck — including women in leadership positions — and advancing inclusion and diversity initiatives across the company by 2025. 

Learn more about our approach to Our People on our website.

First Published on February 11, 2021