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A mine site tour and ‘Oresome Trades’ camp this week has seen 20 students from Dysart, Moranbah, Blackwater, and Mackay state high schools unearth valuable new industrial technology and design (ITD) skills.
Thanks to support from BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) delivered a week-long educational experience for Central Qld students in Years 11 and 12 who got their hands on the tools to build their own model-scale heavy mining equipment.
QMEA Director, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this annual program offered students considering tertiary pathways after school a chance to immerse themselves in the life of a trades professional in an exciting industry with cutting-edge technology, and for one of the region’s largest local employers.
“Oresome Trades camp is a dynamic and engaging opportunity for young men and women considering a vocational career journey to bolster their professional and life experience under the guidance of BMA tradespeople, who provided a real-world context for the tasks they completed,” Ms Jones said.
“Participants enjoyed staying at the mine’s residential village, and over the past week, they tried out trade activities like mechanical, electrical, pneumatics, and welding in the safety of their classroom environment as they designed and built their own heavy mining equipment like a haul truck and water truck, equipped with working lights and electrics.”
Glenn Kirkpatrick, BMA’s Saraji Mine General Manger said students were thrilled to get a behind-the-scenes look at the remarkable intricacies of an open-cut mine site when they had a tour of Saraji Mine on Wednesday.
“This month, BMA welcomed 41 new enthusiastic young women and men as part of its annual apprenticeship intake, demonstrating our commitment to investing in the next generation and supporting local jobs,” Glenn said.
“The annual Oresome Trades Camp complements our efforts to continue building a sustainable talent pipeline and gave students in their final years of senior school the opportunity to sample different trade roles and experience life at a mine site.
“Today, the students are proudly displaying their newly learnt trade skills as they present their model mine site vehicles to representatives from BMA, giving them the opportunity to showcase their ability to communicate, work in a team, and problem solve – all qualities that are critical for future job-readiness.”
Dysart State High School Principal, Ms Cherryl Perry said this camp was an invaluable experience for students on the precipice of choosing their career pathway after they leave school.
“As educators, we know how much students benefit from applying real-world scenarios to their classroom learning, and this camp was a fantastic way for them to try out technical roles that remain in enduring demand in their own backyards,” Ms Perry said.
“We want to encourage them to pursue career pathways that they’re passionate about, and we’re proud to partner with the QMEA to help them navigate the challenging decision of choosing their tertiary education or training journey.”
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 90 schools and is a partnership between industry and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.