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Southeast College

Project: Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator Training

Region: Southeast Saskatchewan


  • Training program developed
  • Training spots increased
  • Acquired ┬ásimulation equipment for multiple programs
  • Two cohorts of students trained
  • At least 16 participants each year

Status: Ongoing

Timeline: Project completed by
March 31, 2022

Faye Billington Program Coordinator

With funding of $800,000 from Prairies Economic Development Canada, a Heavy Equipment Operator program was established in Estevan, Saskatchewan.

Project overview

comunities title

A just transition for workers in the coal industry includes opportunities for retraining in jobs that will continue to be in demand in other sectors throughout the region. Southeast College’s creation of a Heavy Equipment Operator program in Estevan helps address the need for these workers in the oil and gas sector, construction, agriculture and highway infrastructure.


This training program targets employees affected by the transition from coal in the Estevan area, as well as students throughout Saskatchewan. Participants receive 12 weeks of intensive, hands-on training in the operation of heavy equipment, delivered by experienced instructors working with them one-on-one. The training is an effective blend of in-class theory and simulation training, along with hands-on operation of heavy equipment. The acquisition of simulation equipment for this training will also enhance other existing programs such as the Heavy Equipment Truck and Transport Technician program.

Expected results

Southeast College obtained equipment for training and has already fully trained two cohorts of highly skilled, industry-ready heavy equipment operators for work in local sectors including oil, construction and infrastructure. The spring of 2022 will see the next intake of students. The college expects to train at least 16 participants per year.