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Local students will glimpse exciting new high-tech career opportunities today when they attend a Beakers.Bots.Build workshop run by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

Students from Taroom and Wandoan state schools will try their hands at robotics and programming, chemical processing and engineering and design, which can lead to careers that are in high demand.

QMEA’s Director of Skills and Education, Katrina-Lee Jones said the workshop would give students valuable insights into the realities of working in the sector now and into the future.

“Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, the resources sector continues to thrive and keep our economy going, and there are literally thousands of vacant positions out there in skills-shortage areas such as trades and engineering.

“We particularly hope that girls and Indigenous students find inspiration to consider these careers in the workshop.”

Glencore Wandoan Coal Project’s Rick Matthews said the company valued the workshops, which demonstrate the many exciting careers available in the resources sector, careers that can enable young people to live and work in their home communities.

“This is especially important to us in maintaining our communities by building the capacity of local people,” he said.

Taroom State School Principal Angela Heslin said the practical hands-on activities were a valuable aid to learning.

“They also help the students with important skills such as communication and teamwork and it’s great that they can see how their classroom theory can be applied in the real world.”

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 with the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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