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Oakey State High School students will learn the ups and downs of hydraulics in a hands-on workshop today where they’ll build their own hydraulic arm.

Russell Mineral Equipment (RME) Engineers will be on hand to mentor students in the building of an hydraulic arm that meets custom customer requirements during the school event run by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

RME’s Research and Development Manager David Brander said the exercise would help students understand how their science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) theory is used in a real-world context.

“We very often receive orders from customers who request something specific for their needs, therefore we are transferring this sort of challenge into this workshop,” he said.

“It’s a great way for students to engage with our staff and learn about the many career possibilities that can take them around the world, or remain in their home communities, or both.”

Oakey State High School Principal, Danny Keenan said the students would use Tinkercad as their computer-aided tool in the workshop, which would also develop their communication and collaboration skills.

“It’s a great opportunity for the students to talk to RME Engineers about careers that they might not have considered or imagined,” he said.

QRC Director Skills and Education Katrina-Lee Jones said there were critical skills shortages particularly in engineering and trades and it was important that students are exposed to these career options.

“We particularly hope that girls and Indigenous students will see that there is a place for them in these careers that might not otherwise have been on their radar,” she said.

“The QRC has a five-year plan to increase the proportion of women in our sector to at least 30 percent and though the resources sector is the largest private employer of Indigenous people, we want to do even better.

“We won’t be able to recruit a sufficient number of skilled people for our expanding sector unless we attract a more diverse workforce.”

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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