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The tools were in action and hi-vis was donned as 25 Year 10 students from Townsville tried their hand at a trade when they took part in the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA)’s ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshop today (13 May).

The QMEA, the Queensland Resources Council’s education arm, visited Kirwan State High School to give students a taste of a career as a tradesperson thanks to the support of Glencore Mount Isa Mines (MIM).

“Today’s workshop challenges in auto electrical, pneumatics, mechanics, drawing, designing and aptitude testing provide students with opportunities to expand their skill set,” QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones said.

“They hear first-hand from industry professionals working in the resources sector about the skills needed, the opportunities available and how to get there,” she said.

The day also included a visit by representatives from Glencore Queensland Metals Copper Refineries in Townsville. This world-class electrolytic copper refinery produces up to 300,000 tonnes of 99.995% pure copper cathode every year for use in everyday products such as copper wires and cabling.

Copper Refineries Manager Paul Taylor said Glencore was a proud supporter of the QMEA’s activities because the benefits are clear.

“Of our male QMEA students who enter trades, 16 percent enter resources sector-related trades compared to just 3 percent of non-QMEA students.

“With females entering trades who have done a QMEA program, 13 percent enter resources-related trades compared to just 2 percent of non-QMEA students.

“We’re particularly pleased that the QMEA is helping to encourage more females into trade careers as we appreciate that businesses with more diversity and inclusion are happier and healthier places to work.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for our students,” Kirwan State High School Principal Meredith Wenta said today.

“It’s so beneficial for students to be able to chat to industry people and learn from their experience, while seeing the real-world application of their classroom learning.”

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.


Media contact: Ellie Blumel – 0448122948 or ellieb@qrc.org.au

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