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Students from Alexandra Hills State High School will be among the best equipped in the state to tap into the careers of the future, with the first sod turned today for the Centre for Excellence in Automation and Robotics.

The Centre for Excellence will operate in partnership with the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) to set students on the path to excel in the industries that are at the heart of Queensland’s future – including the resources sector.

Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace today performed the honours at the ceremonial sod turning to kick off construction on the $4.77 million facility.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Director of Skills, Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones welcomed the State Government’s $4.7 million investment in the Centre, which would further develop the skills Queensland needs for the future.

“Alexandra Hills State High School is one of 60 schools that partners with the QMEA to provide students with experience and insight in the diverse, high-tech and rewarding resources and energy sectors,” Ms Jones said.

“The QMEA gives students hands-on experience with projects that rely on the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“QMEA students participate in a range of activities ranging from data-modelling, to using drones and robotics, to using 3D printing to apply to real-life scenarios relating to solar-power generation.

“Experience in automation and robotics goes hand-in-hand with the QMEA program, which helps equip Queensland students with the skills they need for a long-term and prosperous career, and at the same time puts our resources sector on an even more stable long-term footing with access to skilled workers for the future.

“The Queensland resources sector is continuing to make new investments in technology and innovation. A recent QRC survey of CEOs found 91 per cent of CEOs are planning further automation activities, just over a third are implementing artificial intelligence and almost 10 per cent are taking the next step to use augmented reality technologies.

“The skills students from Alexandra Hills State High School develop through the QMEA and through this Centre for Excellence in Automation and Robotics will put them in prime position to capitalise on these jobs of the future.

“I look forward to the completion of this outstanding facility.”

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