International Minerals Innovation Institute

IMII funding Virtual Reality Equipment for Morris Interactive’s Indigenous Pre-employment program for potash mining

Supporting indigenous Success in Industry

Saskatoon, SK – The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) is pleased to announce an investment of $11,000 to fund the purchase of Virtual Reality equipment for Morris Interactive’s Indigenous Pre-employment program, Digital Transformation in Potash Mining.

The program is leveraging the power of virtual reality to enable the Indigenous participants to have access to two innovative platforms designed to enhance safety awareness – specific to potash mining – and expose them to various trades. The program utilizes Industry Sponsor Noble Construction’s potash-specific VR safety modules which provide an immersive learning experience, allowing participants to navigate real-world scenarios and master essential safety processes in a risk-free virtual environment. The second virtual reality platform opens doors to a dynamic exploration of different trades within the mining industry. This hands-on approach not only broadens their understanding of the industry but fosters a practical and informed perspective on potential career paths.

“Morris Interactive is very thankful for IMII’s ongoing support as we continue to add innovative additions to the program to give the participants the best experience possible” says Morris Interactive’s CEO, Mathew Cey. “Our program’s KPI is employment or further education following graduation, but the most important aspect is ensuring all of our graduates work safely once they join the industry. Thanks to the VR safety modules, students can learn complicated safety processes specific to potash mining at their own pace.”.

“Virtual reality’s ideal for safety training as it expedites learning and improves information retention,” says IMII’s Executive Director Al Shpyth. “Research conducted into VR has found that users retain information much more easily with virtual reality and further improves safety training as it easily measures logistics and competency. Introducing VR in a program such as Morris Interactive’s Digital Transformation in Potash Mining also recognizes the ability of IMII’s minerals member companies to create digital twins – replicas of real mines, which personnel can explore using VR headsets and familiarize themselves with the mine’s layout before experiencing it first-hand.”

As an employer of several of the graduates of the program, and an Industry sponsor since the pilot project was delivered on Cowessess First Nation, Noble Construction has continued to do their part in improving the program. “We are very pleased that the modules have enriched the learning experience for Morris Interactive’s students” says Les Roberts, General Manager of Noble Construction. “While the VR modules allow students to safely explore real-word underground work environments, the training they receive is a vital component of worker competency and a positive safety culture. We look forward to future collaboration with Morris Interactive in our shared pursuit of safety education excellence.”  

Morris Interactive is excited to be running two programs simultaneously in January – in Saskatoon and Yorkton. The Saskatoon Edition received an immense number of Indigenous applicants, totaling over 2,150.


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