A year-long focus to attract more Queensland school students to work in the resources sector is starting to reap results, according to Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane.
Mr Macfarlane said the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy had introduced a record 5000-plus students to the benefits of working in resources over the past 12 months.
"The QMEA is playing a vital role in addressing our sector's chronic skills shortage by making sure students are aware of the broad range of innovative, well-paid jobs on offer," Mr Macfarlane said.
"We want young people to know about the incredible VET and STEM-related job opportunities in the resources sector, so they can make an informed choice about their future career paths.'
He was speaking after 20 Queensland students including two from Mount Isa were selected as QMEA ambassadors based on their completion of a QMEA program, workshop or camp; school leadership and community involvement; and interest in a trade or tertiary career path into the resources sector.
Spinifex State College's Kathleen Farrelly and Good Shepherd Catholic College's Amy Jones are the two Mount Isa students chosen as ambassadors.
"As our sector transitions to a greener, decarbonised future, we need highly educated and skilled young people to bring their ideas and innovations to our workplaces.
In 2021, the QMEA delivered a record 200-plus workshops, programs and camps in 90 Queensland schools, up from 46 schools only four years ago.
The program involves 200-plus industry mentors from QRC member companies who work with the QMEA to provide students with hands-on, real-world experiences.
Mr Macfarlane said the latest data shows students who attend QMEA schools are more likely to consider a VET or STEM career pathway into the resources sector.
"We want more students and their families to know what a career in resources looks like, whether it's through a tertiary or trade pathway, and to be aware of the excellent training, high incomes and global career opportunities we can offer," he said.
'The resources industry is worth $84.3 billion to the Queensland economy, with one in every six jobs supported by our sector and behind this are highly skilled teams of people, so our industry's future depends on our ability to attract the best emerging talent in Queensland schools."
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Katrina-Lee Jones said the academy's 90 partner schools are located throughout Queensland, reflecting the importance of resources to every Queensland community.
"This year QMEA students participated in a range of new activities - from navigating a LEGO robotic mine truck from pit to port, to modelling the use of hydrogen in a fuel cell," Ms Jones said.
"Each activity challenges students to think creatively and work as a team, and the outstanding results speak for themselves."
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