Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in northern Saskatchewan today to announce millions in federal funds for a new mining school.

The $2.5-million investment from Ottawa will help Northlands College establish the school, purchase heavy equipment simulators and build a facility to house them.

In Air Ronge earlier today, Harper said the investment will help address a skills shortage in northern Saskatchewan’s mining industry.

“And this investment will make sure that the people of northern Saskatchewan have access to the training they need to fill those jobs.  It will ensure that the businesses driving this incredible success story have the access to the workers they need to keep thriving and growing here.”

Construction of the new facility to house the simulators is expected to be completed by December 2016.

About 75 students are expected to graduate at the end of the three-year project, 50 of whom will be Aboriginal.