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The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) has inspired Townsville’s next generation of mining professionals at a hands-on trades workshop, thanks to support from South32 Cannington.

The education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) was at Thuringowa State High School today delivering its popular ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshop to 20 Year 10 students set to possibly become the resources and energy sector’s next cohort of trade enthusiasts.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this educational experience cleverly simulated real-world trade professions through engaging, resources industry contextualised activities.

“A typical classroom transformed into a buzzing trades workshop today, where students on the brink of choosing their subjects for Years 11 and 12 got the opportunity to try out different trade roles like mechanical, auto electrical, pneumatics, and even welding,” Ms Jones said.

“This program showcased the many exciting apprenticeship pathways into the resources and energy sector and allowed students to work under the mentorship of skilled tradespeople from South32 Cannington.”

South32 Cannington Vice President Operations, Joe Russell said with the mining industry’s enduring demand for skilled trade professionals like electricians, mechanics, and boilermakers, now is a great time for young people to consider one of the rewarding vocational pathways into the sector.

“Our partnership with the QMEA is all about nurturing regional skills development and helping local students discover that careers in mining are attainable for anyone ready to take on a new adventure,” Mr Russell said.

“We hope today’s experience has sparked enthusiasm among the next generation of trade enthusiasts to embark on rewarding career journeys with South32.”

Thuringowa State High School Principal, Ms Kaylene Mladenovic said the ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshop offered students more than just valuable work experience and helpful career guidance.

“Students got the opportunity to benefit from bolstering their soft skills like effective communication, active listening, and professional networking, which are all essential tools that enable success in the real world,” Ms Mladenovic said.

“School-based learning experiences like this not only help students make informed decisions about study or training pathways, but they also help prepare them for life beyond the classroom.”

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 the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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