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A group of Mackay school students were mentored by resources industry tradies during a workshop designed to give them a hands-on taste of careers in the sector.

At ‘Tradies for a Day’ held in May, about 20 male and female Year 10 students from Mackay, Mackay Northern Beaches, Pioneer and Sarina State High Schools were guided through a range of trade-based activities that simulate typical on-site work scenarios.

The workshop, held at Mackay SHS, is facilitated by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) and supported by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).

The students will work alongside BMA apprentices and tradespeople from the Hay Point Coal Terminal, learning about the diverse career opportunities for young people in the Central Queensland region. Real-world activities will encourage teamwork and problem-solving, and the students will gain an understanding of on-site safety requirements and industry work conditions.

QMEA’s Manager of Skills and Education, Matthew Heskett, said that the workshops give students a unique insight into the reality of trade roles in mining. “These learning opportunities come at a time when skilled tradespeople are in short supply,” said Matthew. “This workshop plays an important role in encouraging students into trade and STEM pathways, because it gives them a practical taste of what’s involved.”

BMA’s Hay Point Coal Terminal General Manager Linda Murry said that the event aims to inspire the next generation.

“Our Hay Point tradespeople and apprentices are enthusiastic about sharing their own experiences with local school students. It’s an exciting time to be working in the industry. We want to give young people practical advice and a sense of the vast opportunities open to them.”

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 90 schools and is a partnership with the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.


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