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The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) is amping up education innovation this week with the delivery of two dynamic workshops in Central Queensland, showcasing the many exciting career opportunities in trades and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths).
Thanks to support from Glencore Coal, about 50 Year 10 students from Capella and Clermont state high schools are paving pathways to success in the resources and energy sector as they complete hands-on activities exploring trades and STEM.
QMEA Director, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this unparalleled learning experience is a fusion of apprenticeship and tertiary education prospects available to the next generation.
“These students are on the verge of selecting subjects for their final years of secondary school, and informative engagements like this help equip them with the right tools and knowledge to make critical decisions,” Ms Jones said.
“As our industry continues to face an enduring skills demand for STEM and trades professionals, we must help bridge the gap between the classroom curriculum and real-world applications for young men and women.”
Glencore Coal’s Human Resources Manager, Mr Anthony Exelby said students will first dive into the world of STEM as they work in teams to run their own mini mine sites, before moving onto a laser-based challenge that requires geometry and creative thinking prowess.
“Harnessing their collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, students will be tasked with extracting ‘coal’ from a simulated mine site under financial and timing constraints,” Mr Exelby said.
“In addition to fostering resourceful skills like collaboration, process optimisation, and problem-solving, this exercise helps students uncover the vast array of technical disciplines associated with a mining project.”
Clermont State High School Principal, Mrs Leigh Dyer said students will immerse themselves in the world of trades during the second part of the workshop.
“Mentored by apprentices and tradespeople from Glencore Coal, students will rotate through exciting trade-based activities such as mechanical, auto electrical, pneumatics, and even welding,” Mrs Dyer said.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for students who are interested in pursuing vocational pathways after school to try out different trade roles in the safety of their classroom environment, whilst hearing from industry professionals about their career 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 industry and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.