On average, Yukon students are absent for nearly a quarter of their school year.
Victoria Gold Corp. and the Department of Education are committing $15,000 each to try and change that.
They don’t know exactly how they’re going to do it, but the pair are meeting with school staff and students in the hopes of developing a program for the start of the upcoming school year.
The plan to design a program will not spend any of the $30,000, assured Education spokesperson Michele Royle, and Victoria Gold will be having a fundraiser to contribute even more cash.
“We take a keen interest in students in schools throughout Yukon today because they will be among our workforce when Eagle Gold begins operations in 2015 and onwards,” Victoria Gold President and CEO John McConnell said in a press release Tuesday.
The company’s main project, about 85 kilometres northeast of Mayo, is expected to be the territory’s next big gold mine.
The company expects its proposed Eagle mine to produce 212,000 ounces of gold annually for the first five years, and an average of 192,000 ounces of gold annually, over the life of the mine.
“This partnership sends a strong message to our youth about the value that employers place on attending school regularly,” said Royle.
The length of the school year in the territory ranges from 175 to 185 days, depending on the school.
The average number of days students miss in the territory’s rural secondary schools is 43. The average number of days missed by students in Whitehorse high schools is 24.
“It’s something we want to improve,” said Royle.
This partnership reflects a commitment by both government and industry to help young Yukoners get ready for their future, she said.
“Solid high school education helps prepare youth for changes in the job market in the future.”