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The resources industry’s future workforce got a spectacular boost today as creative sparks flew, and innovative gears turned at the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s (QMEA) ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshop.

Thanks to support from Glencore Queensland Metals, about 20 Year 10 students from Spinifex State College traded textbooks for toolboxes at the hands-on engagement delivered by the QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said under the guidance of apprentices and tradespeople from Glencore’s Mount Isa Mines, the aspiring tradies rotated through various skill-building challenges in auto electrical, pneumatics, engineering measurement, mechanical aptitude, and welding.

“Tradies for a Day is an excellent opportunity for young people with an interest in pursuing vocational pathways to try out exciting trade professions in the safety of their classroom, and thanks to some impressive, augmented reality technology – students got to compete for the best score on a virtual welder,” Ms Jones said.

“These students will soon be choosing subjects for the final years of secondary school, and educational experiences like this help them make informed decisions about their training or tertiary education pathways.”

Glencore Mount Isa Mines Manager, Human Resources and Training, Ms Fiona Pascoe said Glencore Queensland Metals is passionate about empowering the next generation with the right skills and knowledge to forge a successful future in mining.

“Our industry continues to experience an enduring skills shortage, particularly for trade professionals, and today’s workshop was an excellent opportunity for students to discover the different types of trade careers on offer,” Ms Pascoe said.

“We hope this workshop has inspired the next generation to pursue rewarding careers in the resources sector, particularly with Glencore Queensland Metals.”

Spinifex State College Principal, Mr Chris Pocock praised the workshop’s fusion of hands-on experience and traditional classroom learning.

“Unless students have chosen an Industrial Technology and Design subject in Grades 11 and 12, they rarely get the opportunity to immerse themselves in trade activities,” Mr Pocock said.

“Today’s session allowed them to explore different apprenticeship pathways while also hearing firsthand from industry professionals about their own vocational and study journeys.”

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 over 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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