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Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart returns to his heartland today when he drops into Ayr State High School where the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) is conducting a workshop to encourage students in science technology engineering and maths (STEM).
A passionate educator and former principal, Mr Stewart will join in the action as year 10 students take part in a STEM Unearthed workshop, supported by Evolution Mining and QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
“I hope the workshop will demonstrate to students who might not have traditionally considered a resources sector pathway, that some great opportunities await them in the sector,” Mr Stewart said.
“These are careers that can also retain our young people in their home towns, which is vital for the sustainability of our resources communities.”
Mr Stewart was acting principal at Ayr State High School in 2006 and still has extended family and friends living in the Burdekin.
“STEM skills are vitally important in the highly technologically advanced resources sector,” said QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane
“Through this workshop, students will gain a better understanding of the types of STEM-related career pathways that are available to them in the resource sector,” he said.
“There is a chronic shortage of skilled resources workers across trades and professions in Queensland right now, so I strongly encourage students to consider a career path in this area.”
The event will also be attended by Home Hill State High School students.
“We very much appreciate the opportunity for our students to experience this workshop, which will help make their classroom studies come to life,” said Home Hill SHS Principal Frank Kingma.
Ayr SHS Principal Craig Whittred said the workshops were an effective way to enhance students’ learning experiences and give them a taste of how to transition from school into well-paid and exciting careers in the resources sector.
Helping the students join the dots were Evolution Mining Mount Carlton operations personnel Anton Kruger (General Manager), Mark Brown (Health, Safety and Community Manager), James Robinson (Senior Metallurgist) and Charlese Conolly (Graduate Metallurgist).
“We are proud supporters of the QMEA as we can see that these workshops are successful in encouraging more students into resources-related careers,” said Mr Kruger.
“This event is targeted at those students who are on a STEM pathway, which could potentially lead them into roles such as chemical engineering, geology, metallurgy, and environmental engineering,” he said.
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.