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A unique educational experience delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) has today bridged the gap between textbooks and tangible skills as Year 10 students excitedly embraced the world of trades.
Thanks to local mining company Coronado Global Resources, about 20 enthusiastic Blackwater State High School students picked up some handy new trade skills at the popular ‘Tradies for a Day’ program created by the QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said students worked under the guidance of experienced apprentices and tradespeople from Coronado Global Resources’ Curragh Mine as they tried out various trade activities like engineering measurement, welding principles, auto electrics, pneumatics and engineering drawing.
“Queensland’s world-class resources and energy sector employs some of the most skilled and high paid trade professionals, and an enduring skills demand means there has never been a better time for the next generation to consider a rewarding career in mining,” Ms Jones said.
“Our program allows students to benefit from hands-on experience in the safety and comfort of their own classroom, and the seamless integration with theoretical knowledge means they’re drawing personal connections between classroom learning and an industry operating in their backyard.”
Coronado Global Resources Chief People and Sustainability Officer, Ms Emma Pollard said today’s workshop was a fantastic way for students to get a taste for what exciting opportunities are on offer in trades.
“Our Curragh Mine is part of the fabric of the Blackwater community, and we want these students to see there are rewarding career opportunities in their hometown,” Ms Pollard said.
“We’re extremely proud of our partnership with the QMEA which is helping our industry, and the Central Queensland community build a sustainable local talent pipeline.”
Blackwater State High School Principal, Mrs Rebecca Vitale said Tradies for a Day was a valuable learning experience for students on the precipice of selecting their subjects for Years 11 and 12.
“Today’s session was a powerful reminder of the pivotal role trade professionals play in shaping our world, and the immense pride that comes with mastering a craft,” Mrs Vitale said.
“Workshops like this help our young men and women make informed decisions about their tertiary pathways and shine a light on the vocational opportunities awaiting them after school. We hope this immersive experience has ignited their passion for trades and armed them with valuable new life-long professional skills.”
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.