Students test-drive mining trades at ‘oresome’ workshop
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Year 10 and 11 students from Sarina, Mackay Northern Beaches and Pioneer State High Schools in Mackay were given an ‘oresome’ opportunity to learn from industry professionals this week, at a workshop facilitated by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) and supported by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).
The ‘Oresome Trades’ workshop was hosted at Pioneer SHS and attended by about 14 students. It was the first time that this workshop has been open to Mackay students, following the success of an ‘Oresome Trades’ camp at Moranbah earlier this year.
Students worked in teams alongside industry representatives to get a taste of what’s involved in working in a variety of trades on a mining site.
QMEA’s Manager of Skills and Education, Matthew Heskett, said that the students were able to experience firsthand the problem-solving and teamwork required while working on a trade-based project. “They worked in groups to design, make and appraise a small replica site vehicle, wiring it to have fully functioning lights.”
“The task was designed to build on their knowledge, teach them new skills and give them an understanding of safety requirements in a real-world setting,” Matthew explained.
The participants were mentored throughout the day by apprentices and tradespeople from BMA’s Hay Point Coal Terminal. General Manager Hay Point Coal Terminal Mel Johnson said that the opportunity to learn in an industry-led workshop provided invaluable insights for the school students. “They were exposed to a variety of trades typical of those used on operations throughout this region. Design and technologies subjects prepare students for these tasks, but there is great value in giving them hands-on learning experiences with mentors who have knowledge of working in the industry.”
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.