June 13 will see the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) host another of its Oresome Trades Camps in Mackay.  For the first time, students in Year 10 will attend the camp which introduces secondary school students to trade careers in the resources sector.

Students from Sarina, Northern Beaches and Pioneer State High Schools will benefit from the opportunity from the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) and supported by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).

“Camps are made possible through the support and sponsorship of BMA and provide students and teachers the opportunity to experience the resource sector’s operations through on-site and in-school activities, flagship camps, and scholarships,” says QMEA’s Manager of Skills and Education, Matthew Heskett. “Having the opportunity to work alongside industry representatives to experience trade-based activities that simulate real work scenarios is an invaluable experience in linking what students learn at school with the world of work. But equally important is making connections and building networks with a broad spectrum of people from the industry which encourages students to visualise themselves in those roles.”

Previous camps in the region have focused predominantly on Year 11 and 12 students, but this latest opportunity has been opened up to students from Year 10, prompted by feedback from the schools.

“The interest is definitely there,” says Lisa Veney, Principal of Pioneer SHS which is hosting this event. “The students fortunate enough to have attended previous Oresome Trade Camps get quizzed by younger students when they’re back at school. So, opening the camp to Year 10 students will definitely have an impact and help them make informed choices about areas of study and potential career options.”

Over the course of three days the students will work on a trade-based project designing a prototype vehicle, supported and mentored by industry representatives. Students are set trade challenges involving activities that encompass electrical, mechanical, pneumatics and welding, and learn the roles these play in the mining and resources industry.

 Linda Murry General Manager of BMA’s Hay Point Coal Terminal said  the workshop aligns with the everyday challenges associated with the  resources sector. “The tasks encourage the students to use their communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills to resolve real-world challenges, under the close eye of the ‘experts’ who support their efforts.”

The response to previous Oresome Trade Camps has been described as ‘transformative’ and applauded for casting a spotlight on school/industry engagement and female and Indigenous participation.

 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 90 schools and is a partnership with the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program


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