Bathurst mine workers struggle to find jobs nearby

Some employees at the Brunswick Mine have discovered that new jobs won't be easy to find close to home.

50-year-old operation to close its doors May 10

Xstrata says there's nothing left to mine at this zinc mine which will close this spring. (CBC)

Some employees at the Brunswick Mine have discovered that new jobs won’t be easy to find close to home.

The mine is in the process of shutting down, and a new job training centre has been opened to help employees in the transition.

The centre is a joint effort between the provincial government, the mine and the United Steel Workers Union.

About 1,000 people will lose their jobs by the time the mine closes May 10.

Some, like diesel mechanic Kevin Clement, are taking advantage of the training now offered at the Mine Transition Centre.

"I’ve been working 33 years in the mines and I’ve took all kinds of jobs that I’ve been offered," he said. Clement hasn’t had to apply for a position since he started working at age 17. He believes he’ll have to leave the province to find a new job.

Ken Smith, who also works at Brunswick Mine, is flying to Fort McMurray later this week for a job interview. It’s not his first choice. Smith wants to find work in New Brunswick.

"We could stay home with our families," he said. "But that’s just not the facts of life in northern New Brunswick right now."

Smith said he already has plans to return to Bathurst when he retires in five years.

Last year, Brunswick Mine announced it would shut down because there is nothing left to mine. The operation is close to 50 years old.