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Bundaberg State High School students traded their school bags for toolbelts this week when they received a taste of life as a tradie with Evolution Mining apprentices and tradespeople.

The students will take part in a three-day On the Tools camp run by the company and the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Thomas Lethbridge, Evolution Mining General Manager of the Mount Rawdon Operation, said teaching and preparing young people for the workforce was an important aspect of building a more resilient community.

“Students who immerse themselves in a mining environment learn firsthand what’s involved in a safe and successful trade career,” said Mr Lethbridge.

“Reliable, locally-based on-the-job support is critical for apprentices, and to ensure qualified tradespeople have long and successful careers – including at our operations,” he said.

“Evolution Mining is proud to support students by sharing our values about safety, respect, accountability and excellence.

“Entering a trade with the right mindset can help young people lead to the best of their abilities for the remainder of their time at school,” he said.

“Qualified trades people are in high demand, and they are highly-skilled, well-paid careers, which can also enable young people to stay in their home communities.”

QRC’s Director of Skills and Education Katrina-Lee Jones said there were currently almost 6000 vacancies in Queensland for trades people and trades assistants on a leading employment site.

“So, there will be no shortage of jobs when these students finish their training,” she said.

“We also hope that more young women and Indigenous students will consider these great careers.”

Bundaberg State High School Principal Chris Gill said his students would benefit from networking with the Evolution Mining staff, who will give them a clearer idea of the steps they need to take to embark on a trade career.

“The camp is a personal development opportunity as well as one to give them deep insights into trade careers, in which they have already shown an interest,” he said.

“Being able to relate their schoolwork to real life projects is also a powerful learning tool.”

The students will learn sheet metal and electrical skills in the design and construction of a mini mine vehicle, complete with wiring for front and read lights and a roof mounted flashing light.

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills training initiative, the QMEA seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources.

The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into VET and STEM-related careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 80 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

Media Contact: Caroline Morrissey 0417 770893 or Carolinem@qrc.org.au

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