Queensland prepping its next generation of workers

QUEENSLAND university students aspiring to take up roles in Australia’s rapidly expanding mining industry will receive a helping hand thanks to a new program launched by the Queensland Resources Council.
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Courtesy Queensland Resources Council

Lauren Barrett

Dubbed the Students for the Future Program, the industry-funded initiative will see winners selected into the program receive exclusive networking and mentoring opportunities and open up chances to attend resource sector focused workshops and industry site visits.

In addition, the first-year students accepted in to the program will receive a $A1000 bursary to help them settle in to their first year of university.

The scholarship winners came from all around Queensland and were acknowledged at an awards ceremony by the Education Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek, as well as representatives from Queensland universities and resource companies on Tuesday.

QRC chief executive officer Michael Roche said the program would enable young people to connect with the resources sector and get their foot in the door.

“This program will open doors for students as they begin to better understand their chosen profession, the many options available to them, and what they can achieve in the resources sector,” he said.

“This will give them the basis for well-informed decisions as they begin their career journeys.”

The need for the program comes at a crucial time, with the resources sector growing and changing, Roche said the industry would have to rely on the next generation of engineers and scientists “to realise the industry’s full potential.”

The initiative comes soon after the release of the QRC’s Queensland Resources Sector Growth Outlook study, which forecasted the need for up to 40,000 additional skilled workers in Queensland by 2020.

With the industry currently reeling from a critical skills shortage, professions in high demand include engineering across a range of fields such as mining, electrical, mechanical, geosciences and surveying.

The selected students for the program will receive ongoing invitations to industry conferences and networking events.

Through the program, students will also receive advice and direction on applying for minerals and energy company scholarship and vacation work programs for their second year of studies and beyond.

This article first appeared in ILN's sister publication MiningNews.net.