Mining � what�s that?

ROCK lovers from an early age, a family member in the industry or chance entry seems to be the only way young people are entering the resources sector these days, according to a new Queensland Resource Council (QRC) study.
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Queensland Resources Council's chief executive, Susan Johnston

Angie Tomlinson

The study, Attraction and Retention in Queensland’s Mineral Resources Sector, was carried out in response to the shortages of mining and minerals processing engineers.

The study found the resources sector lacked a high profile among young people, and low exposure meant young people weren’t attracted to the sector because they did not understand what it does.

While other studies have focused quantitative research of school leavers and undergraduates – Generation Y – QRC went straight to the source with focus groups and one-on-one interviews.

The study showed only a small proportion of high school students in 22 of the 700 high schools in Queensland are exposed to earth sciences as part of their studies.

It found the mineral resources sector does not have a high profile with Generation-Y and high school students have little knowledge of what it means to be a geologist or an engineer.

The study also found graduates in the industry are looking for better managed graduate programs, and career development.

QRC chief executive Susan Johnston said the QRC will now work with the Queensland Government to prepare an action plan to respond to the issues raised in the study.