This week will be an eye opener for Brisbane and regional students when they rub shoulders with government ministers, check out the latest mining technology, and get a taste of university life.

The 20 students, who will receive their Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Ambassadors certificates from Minister for Education Grace Grace will be the star turn at the QMEA annual breakfast (7th December) in Queensland’s biggest mining town – Brisbane – where they’ll meet resource sector leaders.

Their three-day excursion will include visiting University of Queensland, checking out mining equipment at Hastings Deering’s Acacia Ridge workshops, learning about the latest research into mine safety at SIMTARS at Redbank, and exploring the latest in mining technology at CSIRO/QCAT Pullenvale and BHP’s Integrated Remote Operations Centre (IROC).

The students were selected from a record 51 candidates from QMEA schools across Queensland.

“These ambassadors have shown a keen interest in professional and trade pathways in the resources sector and are active champions for these careers in their own schools,” said Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane.

“It’s exciting to see the next generation of bright young people who’ll potentially leave the big smoke or return to their regional communities to take up resources sector careers.

“Our sector offers amazing opportunities for our young people and our QMEA ambassadors will help get the work out among their peers.

“We’ve had some brilliant talent come through the QMEA, including this year’s keynote speaker Kaitlyn Tobaine, who is in her second year as a diesel fitter with BHP.

“Latest statistics gathered by the Queensland Government show that QMEA is a successful strategy in encouraging students into science technology engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and trade careers.

“Of students who graduated from high school in 2017, 19 percent of QMEA students entered post-school study or employment in engineering and related technologies compared to 11 percent from non-QMEA schools.

“There was an increase in female participation in these pathways over 12 months from 3 percent to 4 percent (non-QMEA was 2.3 percent) and Indigenous participation was considerably higher at 16 percent compared to 11 percent in non-QMEA schools.

“The percentage of apprentices/trainees employed by industry from QMEA schools has doubled since 2017 to 16 percent, compared to 2.5 percent from non-QMEA schools.

“These statistics are reflective of the high acceptance of the program by students, teachers and industry.

“We are enormously grateful for the Queensland Government’s support of QMEA, and Premier Palaszczuk’s promise of further support as we increase from the current 60 schools to 100 over the next four years

“This is the largest industry/schools partnership in Australia, and would not be possible without the $1million plus contribution from QRC members.”

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