Collinsville State High School students now have the inside running on careers in the booming resources sector after taking part in a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) workshop

Staff from Glencore Coal were on hand to mentor the students in activities that took them into the world of robots and coding— skills that are in high demand in the technologically advanced industry.

The  Beakers.Bots.Build workshop is one of many run by the QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council, in 80 schools around Queensland.

“There are currently more than 1,000 job vacancies in the areas of mining, resources and energy, with more than 80 percent of those paying more than $100,000 per year,” said QRC’s Director Skills Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones.

“There’s never been a better time to consider a career in the resources sector, with demand for Queensland commodities expected to increase over the next decade,” she said.

Glencore Coal’s Human Resources Manager Anthony Exelby said students were often unaware of the range of careers available to them in the sector and Glencore staff enjoyed passing on first-hand knowledge of their careers and how to follow in their footsteps.

“While mentoring them through the practical challenges in the workshops, staff also help them to join the dots between their school work, and real-world problem solving.”

Collinsville State High School Principal Anna Reeves said the workshop would hone students’ teamwork and problem-solving skills while completing three STEM-based activities.

“These activities include investigating the design of perforated steel casings used in gas extraction, programming an autonomous haul truck and designing a device to remove unwanted materials from a conveyor belt,” she said.

“It’s very instructive for students to see how STEM subjects are used every day and how important critical thinking and teamwork skills are to the success of projects.”

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.


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