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Trading schools for high-tech trades

Posted on August 8, 2017

About 50 students from central Queensland will trade the classroom for a high-tech career in resources thanks to the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

Under the watchful eye of Anglo American employees, 20 Biloela and Moura state high school students will learn valuable hand skills, while in Gladstone 30 students from Toolooa, Tannum Sands and Gladstone state high schools and Chanel College will operate one of Hastings Deering’s cutting edge machine simulators and engage with apprentices.

Hastings Deering’s General Manager People and External Affairs Vincent Cosgrove said the company had a strong focus on ensuring that young people had the opportunity to see and understand the career options available to them in the sector.

“As a company, we pride ourselves on our people and this will be an opportunity for these students to meet apprentices and qualified trade experts and see how modern day machinery is making mining easier and safer,” Mr Cosgrove said.

Anglo American’s Dawson General Manager Clarence Robertson said tradespeople from its Moura mine will talk to the students about their pathways into the resources sector.

“Choosing a career is a difficult and daunting task for young minds but through these workshops the students can quiz our employees on the steps they took to find work in mining”, Mr Robertson said.

QMEA is the education and skills arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and facilitates pathways for students into the resources sector. It is a partnership between the resources sector and the Queensland Government through its Gateway to Industry Schools Program.

Director of Skills, Education and Diversity for the QRC Katrina-Lee Jones said trade careers require a strong attention to detail and knowledge of the technology and the digital worlds.

“These workshops aim to open students’ eyes to the exciting possibilities along a trade pathway, now and into the future. The interaction the students have with industry trades people and apprentices is invaluable,” Ms Jones said.

The Gladstone students will also visit CQU where they will see the ‘rig room’ and witness how simulators are used to train CSG to LNG plant operators.