Education partnership launched

A $A50 million mining industry teaching and research package involving BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and the University of Queensland was launched last week.

Staff Reporter

BMA committed an additional $6.3 million a year for at least three years to training future coal miners, bringing the company’s commitment to developing future skills to more than $50 million.

BMA has committed $3.43 million a year to a program called New Pathways into Mining through Cadetships and $2.18 million to Diversifying and Extending Professional Skills.

Thirty cadetships and 16 new scholarships will be awarded in 2006.

In partnership with the University of Queensland, BMA will commit $270,000 a year for five years to support the establishment of two new teaching and research positions, the BMA Chairs of Mining Engineering and Minerals Processing.

“The UQ/BMA partnership will support economic growth nationally and in Queensland by reducing the skills gap and enhancing the nation's highly-qualified professional mining workforce,” the university’s senior deputy vice-chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield said.

BMA has also formed a partnership with Central Queensland University to provide $250,000 a year for three years for new BMA Cadetship and Engineering Extension Programs.

UQ and Central Queensland University are setting up a mechanism by which students can complete their first two years of engineering at CQU before they transfer to mining engineering at UQ for years three and four.

“This is consistent with the approach being adopted by the Minerals Council of Australia through Mining Education Australia,” Professor Greenfield said.

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