Townsville tradies & technicians teach next generation of women
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Females from Townsville have discovered how to forge their futures in traditionally male-dominated sectors and pursue exciting careers as technicians, tradies and engineers in Queensland’s resources and energy industry.
The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) recently delivered a series of breakfasts and workshops, thanks to support from the Queensland Government’s Office for Women.
This morning, 20 female Year 10 students from Townsville schools, plus 20 women from the Townsville school community including teachers and mothers attended the Girls Exploring Trades & Technologies (GETT) in Resources event.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the newly created GETT in Resources program, is all about encouraging females of all ages into traditionally male-dominated fields of study and employment, particularly in the resources sector.
“Six events across Brisbane, Rockhampton, and Townsville were delivered for the first time by the QMEA, allowing young women who may be undecided on a career pathway, as well as mature women wanting to re-enter the workforce to learn about the fantastic career opportunities on offer in the resources industry,” Ms Jones said.
“This initiative supports the QRC’s efforts to create a more diversified and inclusive workforce that attracts more females into non-traditional roles, including our ambitious diversity target of 30 per cent female participation by 2026.
“Comprising a breakfast event and industry panel, followed by an engaging, hands-on, half-day workshop in each city, GETT in Resources showcased activities and technical disciplines that correlate with the enduring skill shortages in trades and technologies.”
During the breakfast panel made up of mainly females working in trade and professional roles from South32, Glencore Coal, and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), attendees heard about personal experiences, challenges, and career opportunities available in the resources and energy sector.
“At South32, we are working to build an inclusive and diverse workforce that is representative of the communities where we operate,” said South32 Cannington Vice President Operations Joe Russell.
“We have highly-skilled, very talented women working at South32 Cannington – and across our business – but we want to encourage more women and girls to pursue a fulfilling career in the mining and resources industry.
“South32 is proud to support the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s Girls Exploring Trades & Technologies in Resources events and we hope to see some of those who attended working alongside us in the future.”
After the breakfast panel, participants moved onto an interactive workshop focussing on skills and roles in high demand, showcasing the resources sector’s use and development of cutting-edge technologies now and in the future.
As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools 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 vocational and professional careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.
This initiative supports the Queensland Women’s strategy’s ‘Participation and Leadership’ goals of increasing female participation in occupations and industries such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), in the resources sector.