Introduction to Millwrighting training program welcomes largest class yet to Darlington
At a glance
- Latest cohort of Indigenous candidates begins training through Introduction to Millwrighting program at Darlington.
- Upon graduating, new millwright apprentices will be eligible to be dispatched to work on Darlington Refurbishment.
- Skilled trades are currently in high demand with multiple refurbishment projects underway.
Eleven new Indigenous candidates are learning about what it takes to become a millwright through the Introduction to Millwrighting (ITM) training program hosted at OPG’s Darlington Energy Complex.
The specialized six-week course, created by the Millwright Regional Council (MRC), launched in October 2021.
Since then, the course has produced more than 20 millwright apprentices who have gone on to find work at OPG and across the energy sector through OPG’s Indigenous Opportunities Network (ION) program.
This year’s cohort, which began their training in early April, is the largest yet.
“OPG has been incredible in the support of this program,” said Andy Forsyth, a consultant with MRC. “This course is vital to equipping Indigenous employees with valuable skills for the future and providing much-needed skilled capacity for the energy sector.”
Highly trained MRC millwrights install, maintain, diagnose, and repair various industrial and mechanical equipment – from pumps and conveyors to the steam turbines that produce electricity at OPG’s nuclear stations.
It is a trade currently in high demand, particularly with the ongoing Darlington Refurbishment project and other refurbishment projects underway around the energy industry.
The ITM program focuses on safety fundamentals, instruction in the millwright trade, and preparation for the aptitude test required to enter the millwright union.
Successful graduates from this year’s class will be eligible to be dispatched through the ION program to major contractors working on OPG’s Darlington Refurbishment project. After completing a probationary period, the candidates will become members of the millwright union.
Past graduates include Sami Jewer and Amanda Bailey, both of whom made career changes through the ION program and ITM course. After graduating, Jewer and Bailey began their journey as millwright apprentices on the Darlington Refurbishment – Jewer finding work with E.S. Fox and Bailey being contracted by CanAtom.
Jewer credits the specialized millwright training course for helping her get up and running so quickly in her new career.
“It really prepared us for what we were getting into,” she said.
Since launching in September 2018, OPG’s ION program has helped place more than 100 Indigenous workers in various roles at OPG and across the energy sector. The company continues to work with Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Employment and Training, based in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, to help identify and assess recruits for ION.
ION is helping to support the goals outlined in OPG’s Reconciliation Action Plan, which commits to increasing the representation of Indigenous employees across the company and growing the economic impact for Indigenous communities and businesses to $1 billion over 10 years.