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In a revolutionary learning initiative that aims to inspire the next generation of skilled trade professionals, the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) is delivering its popular ‘Tradies for a Day’ program to Biloela students today, thanks to Batchfire Resources.
The Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) education arm is in the Banana Shire giving 20 Year 10 students from Biloela State High School and Redeemer Lutheran College the opportunity to explore various trade-based activities within the safe confines of their classroom.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the hands-on experience is set to illuminate the way students perceive traditional trade roles and empower them with valuable skills that align with the demands of the modern resources sector workforce.
“Under the expert guidance of experienced mentors from Batchfire Resources, students are rotating through a diverse range of trade activities, gaining valuable skills and insights into careers such as electrical work, mechanical engineering, pneumatics and even welding,” Ms Jones said.
“Recognising the enduring demand for skilled tradespeople and the critical role they play in shaping the resources and energy sector, our workshop creates a secure and interactive environment for students to step into the role of an apprentice for the day.”
Batchfire Resources CEO, Mr Allan Fidock, said the industry relies on a sustainable talent pipeline of skilled trades professionals, and today’s event helps bridge the gap between industrial technology and design (ITD) theory and real-world applications.
“From wiring a circuit board to trying out welding through advanced augmented reality technology, we hope today’s session will equip these students with the necessary tools and insights to embark on successful trade-based careers,” Mr Fidock said.
“Batchfire Resources is one of Callide Valley’s largest employers and our partnership with the QMEA plays a critical role in helping us support regional skills development while showcasing the many vocational pathways on offer to the local community.”
Biloela State High School Principal, Ms Natasha Bunn expressed her enthusiasm for the program and emphasised the practical benefits it offers to students on the verge of selecting subjects for the final years of senior school.
“Trade careers have long been an integral part of the resources industry’s fabric, and as educators we want our students to know there are exciting tertiary education and vocational pathways available to them,” Ms Bunn said.
“Our school has a strong focus on innovative teaching methods, and we’re proud to once again host the QMEA’s ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshop, providing students with a glimpse into the vast array of opportunities available in trades.”
As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools 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 98 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.