Aspiring tradies put the pedal to the metal

13 April 2018

More than 20 central Queensland students have experienced what it’s like to be a tradie during a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Trade Camp this week (8-13 April).

The years 11 and 12 students from Middlemount, Moranbah, Blackwater and Dysart schools have worked with BMA Saraji Mine apprentices and tradies at the BMA Trade Camp at Dysart High School. The students took discarded push bikes, fully restored them and tricked them up with a motor.

The students gave presentations to Saraji Mine’s management who assessed their bicycle projects and heard presentations on what they’ve learned. A tour of the Saraji Mine was also included, along with the week’s accommodation provided by CIVEO in Dysart, to give them a taste of a mine camp environment.

‘The focus is on students gaining an understanding of specific trade roles in the resources sector and developing trade skills to complete their project. We find these camps a very valuable tool for generating interest in trade careers and identifying talented people to join our skilled trade teams,’ BMA’s Saraji Mine General Manager Keith Haley said.

‘I’m also very pleased to see girls taking part in the camp and encourage more girls to follow in their footsteps to improve diversity within our tradie population.

‘One of the girls is Caitlyn Barnes, the 2018 QRC/WIMARQ Resources Awards for Women Exceptional QMEA Student and we’re delighted to see her encouraging more girls to enter trade careers.’

‘There’s nothing like real-world hands-on experience to spark students’ interest in career paths,’ said Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Director of Skills Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones.

‘The QMEA has consistently demonstrated its success in encouraging students to take STEM and resources sector related careers. For example, of all students employed as apprentices or trainees in 2016, *nine percent of QMEA students were employed in the resources sector compared with 2 percent from non-QMEA schools.’

QRC is the peak representative body for Queensland’s resources sector. The sector provides one in every $6 dollars in the Queensland economy, sustains one in eight Queensland jobs, and supports more than 16,400 businesses across the State, all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.

The QMEA is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program. It has 46 schools throughout Queensland.

*Queensland Government Department of Education Next Step Destination Data.

Media contact: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360