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More than 70 Chinchilla State High School students will participate in the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA)’s ‘Beakers.Bots.Build’ and ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshops today (2 June), thanks to the support of Origin, the upstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG.

The QMEA, the school engagement arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), offers these initiatives to encourage students to explore the many trade and professional careers available within the Queensland resources sector.

Eager Year Nine students will join in on the ‘Beakers.Bots.Build’ workshop activities where they will put their classroom learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to the test. This workshop aims to give students an opportunity to hone their problem solving and coding skills.

Year Ten students will put down their textbooks and tablets to pick up their toolboxes to take part in the hands-on ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshop. The students will be another step closer to a trade career which might include auto electrical, pneumatics, mechanics, and design.

“2020 has shown us that we need to prepare Queensland students now more than ever for the workforce of the future, equipping them with the skills to find opportunity in uncertainty,” QRC’s Director of Skills, Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones said.

“Our programs aim to show students how to not just survive but thrive by giving them the tools to get a head start on their careers today,

“The aim is to encourage students to consider a resources career pathway and highlight the variety of careers in the sector that require VET and STEM skills.

“These learnt skills not only provide well paid and satisfying work, they enable young people to remain in and contribute to their home communities,” Ms Jones said.

Origin’s Alexandra Kennedy-Clark, General Manager Condabri, Talinga and Orana Asset, is excited by the workshops and how the programs help students understand that STEM and VET pathways are the foundation for a career in the energy and resources sector.

“Events like today’s help establish an understanding of the technical nature of the industry, and how classroom learnings can be transferred into the workplace,” she said.

“We always warmly welcome the QMEA workshops to our school as they offer unique opportunities for students to improve their problem solving and communication skills while being offered mentorship and developing connections with real-world industry professionals,” said Chinchilla State High School’s Principal Ian Insley.

The QMEA is Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills training initiative and seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of VET and STEM career opportunities in the resources sector.

The academy is largely funded by QRC members and sponsors, and currently delivers hands-on workshops and programs to 80 Queensland schools. The QMEA has a focus on increasing female and Indigenous participation and is part of the Gateway to Industry Schools Program which is supported and funded by the Queensland Government.

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