Author Archives: Simon Houlding

Simon Houlding is Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., responsible for EduMine, the professional development division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry. He is a practicing professional engineer and author.

Is your training budget stuck in the recession?

There are positive indications that the recession is receding. Which means that this is the time for proactive decision making by forward-thinking companies as they prepare their training budgets for the coming year. Training is an area where companies can gain a significant advantage by planning ahead. The ranks of experienced workers and managers have been decimated by recession and retirement. Many will be replaced by young and/or inexperienced workers as the recession recedes and these will require extensive training. Forward-thinking companies are already preparing

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Murray Goldberg speaks to the effectiveness of online training

eLearning pioneer Murray Goldberg of Mining Safety and Learning Systems recently participated in a presentation on the effectiveness of online learning in enabling a safety culture transformation within a workforce (see the video presentation on YouTube). This presentation describes the development of a sustainable training program in the maritime industry; however the takeaways are highly relevant to mining. The essence of Murray’s presentation can be summarized as: Experience and research have shown that online, self-directed learning is measurably better than traditional instructor-led learning in terms

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Blended Learning Benefits Truck Operator Training at Suncor

Too often, haul truck operator trainees don’t retain enough of the knowledge they learn during training. That can lead to longer on-boarding cycles, lower productivity and potential safety problems in the mine. Blended learning – providing training via multiple modalities using a highly structured, building-block approach – shows a lot of promise in addressing this challenge (see Blended Learning: A More Effective Model for Haul Truck Operator Training by Chuck Frey of VISTA Training). Training challenges facing mines Computer-based training alone is not an effective

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Training for mining has moved to a new level

The mining campus just became a lot smarter, with expanded training content that covers the mining workforce and delivery by an LMS platform designed for mining. As well as recently adding 10 new online courses and updating another 6 from its library of professional development and training courses, EduMine is now collaborating with other providers on a broad range of mine training applications to greatly increase its ability to address content and technology requirements for the entire mining workforce. EduMine and VISTA Training EduMine is

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Projected Worker Shortages will Increase the Requirement for On-Demand Training

There are early signs that the industry is turning around as commodity prices rebound and back-burner projects are reactivated. The Canadian Mining Labour Market Outlook 2016 by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) has forecast a cumulative hiring requirement of 127,000 workers in a growth scenario for the Canadian mining industry over the next 10 years. This figure includes layoffs and lack of recruitment over the five-year recession as well as anticipated retirements. Where are we going to find these workers? The short answer

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Mount Polley and Samarco: What Can We Do to Reduce the Chances of Another Tailings Disaster?

It has been two years since Mount Polley and nearly a year since Samarco. It has become apparent that Mount Polley had both design and management issues, while the jury is still out on the causes of failure at Samarco. So what has the industry done so far to reduce the chances of another tailings disaster? Recommendations regarding better site investigation procedures, and stricter adherence to tailings management procedures are obvious steps in the right direction. A more significant move in the right direction might

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Professional Development Fills the Knowledge Gaps in Mining Left by Universities

In a recent interview published by CIM Magazine, George Demopoulos of McGill University laments the shift away from metallurgy programs in the mining and materials curriculum (see Separating Sciences, CIM Magazine, June/July 2016). In his words … “grooming young materials engineers is becoming more challenging … creating a crisis of competence and a divide between the traditional metallurgical industry and the universities of today”. This is but one symptom of the modern trend at universities to streamline their curricula in the interests of cost-saving. There

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EduMine Rankings and Demographics

The following rankings and demographics are based on records and analytics from 2015. Top 10 countries by visitor statistics … Canada: 15% United States: 14% South Africa: 6% India: 5% Australia: 5% Peru: 4% United Kingdom: 4% Mexico: 3% Brazil: 3% Chile: 3% Age: 61% of EduMine visitors are less than 35 years of age. Gender: 46% of EduMine visitors are women. Browser: Chrome is the most popular browser. Device: 26% of EduMine visitors use mobile or tablet devices. Course category rankings by certifications for

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Tailings Risk Webcast Demonstrates the Global Reach of Webcast Training

The recent live webcast Risk Assessment and Decision Making for Mine Geowaste Facility Management had four presenters from three different countries and 22 delegates from 11 countries. It demonstrated the power of the Internet to disseminate specialist mining knowledge to even the remotest mining community. The course examined recent findings from the Mount Polley tailings facility failure, and outlined the risk assessment methods that can be used to prevent future tailings disasters. Practical techniques for the management of mine geowaste facilities using risk assessment methods

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Are You Getting Real, Sustainable Value from Your Training?

We forget 70% of what we have learned within 24 hours unless we use it in some way. This principle of modern learning psychology is illustrated by the figure below which presents what is known as the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve (see Use It or Lose It by Art Kohn (2015)). Despite the general acceptance of this principle, mining companies continue to spend millions of dollars on training programs from which most of the knowledge will be forgotten in a matter of days. The principle applies

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