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Twenty Grade 10 students from Cloncurry State School P-12 yesterday (21 June) traded traditional classroom lessons for an exciting day of trade-based activities at a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s (QMEA) Tradies for a Day workshop, thanks to support from South32.
As the resources sector continues to grapple with an increasing skills shortage, the QMEA, which is the education arm of Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) is engaging with the next generation to grow and sustain a talent pipeline into the industry.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said students who pursue training pathways will have a magnitude of exciting career opportunities in the innovative and highly rewarding resources sector.
“In addition to more than 2,000 resources industry jobs currently being listed on Seek, recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows mining has the highest average full-time earnings out of any industry,” Ms Jones said.
“Out of the nine most in-demand roles in the sector, nearly half are trade-based, demonstrating that training pathways to resources-related careers are as equally important as those that lead to technical disciplines.
“Jobs like automation engineers, auto-electricians, and apprentice heavy diesel fitters are among the top roles that are increasingly in-demand, and these are jobs available in the students’ own hometowns.”
South32 Cannington Vice President Operations, Joe Russell said this workshop allowed students to spend the day trialling various trade-based roles in a safe and stimulating classroom environment.
“South32 Cannington is proud to support the QMEA’s Tradie for a Day Workshop and demonstrate just how rewarding a career in the resources sector can be,” Mr Russell said.
“At South32, our people are fundamental to our success, and our annual graduate intake and four-year Apprenticeship Program are integral to ensuring we recruit and retain skilled professionals that can grow with our business.”
Cloncurry State School P – 12 Principal, Ms Victoria Menkins said students benefited from working alongside South32 apprentices and tradespeople who guided them through workshop activities.
“Yesterday’s workshop gave the students work experience and provided a forum for them to further develop their life experience, improving skills like professional networking and taking on constructive feedback,” Ms Menkins said.
“As educators, it’s important to prepare our students for life after school and partnering with the QMEA allows them to see what kind of opportunities are available to them in industries operating in their own backyard.”
As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools 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 vocational and professional careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with over 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.