The Gold Industry Group’s National Gold Education Program is inspiring the future leaders of Australia’s gold mining industry.
Australia’s mining workforce continues to surge, as the Gold Industry Group actively educates students about the benefits of working in the gold industry.
More than 20,000 workers and 5000 apprentices have entered the mining industry in the past year, according to the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).
MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said Australia’s historically low unemployment has highlighted the importance of further investment in skills initiatives.
The Australian Government’s investment of $2.8 billion for new trade apprenticeships in this year’s Federal Budget will seek to upskill apprentices, give employers benefits and simplify the current system of incentives.
But the Gold Industry Group is working at a grassroots level, educating school students about the benefits of a career in gold, as well as the sector’s value to the community and broader economy.
The Gold Industry Group’s National Gold Education Program will expand further next term with the addition of Careers Gold Class Sessions, delivered online or in-person, to secondary schools across Australia. This comes following the overwhelmingly positive feedback and a growing demand.
This term marks two years since the Gold Industry Group expanded its gold education program across Australia, changing perceptions and inspiring tens of thousands of students about the gold industry in more than 1200 primary and secondary schools through exclusive, free Gold Resources Kits and dynamic, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths)-based Gold Class Sessions.
More than 1200 of the popular Gold Resources Kits have been delivered to primary and secondary schools across all states and territories since 2020, bringing gold-focused history, science, mathematics and sustainability lessons to thousands of students and teachers.
The exclusive kits, which feature gold and rock samples from Australian mines, plus a variety of resources linked to the Australian Curriculum, are exciting students and exposing them to the infinite opportunities in the gold sector.
More than 100 hands-on STEM Gold Class Sessions have been delivered by gold industry workers at 25 primary and 23 secondary schools across Perth, Kalgoorlie, Kambalda, Norseman and Boddington. All received enthusiastic feedback from both teachers and students.
Developed in conjunction with Australian Earth Science Education, the sessions provide students in years 4, 5 and 6 with workplace scenarios where they use problem-solving skills to move a gold bar using a pulley system and learn how safety is paramount.
Secondary school students in years 7, 8, 9 and 10 closely analyse geological and geophysical maps to identify an area with potential for gold mining.
The Gold Industry Group chair and gold class facilitator Kelly Carter said she was delighted to see the program attracting such a high volume of interest and demand for further engagement.
“The response we have seen to the program to date is testament to the strong connection our community has to the Australian gold sector and presents a huge opportunity to engage with our workforce of the future on the wide range of opportunities available,” she said.
“Our employees are the sector’s greatest advocates, and the education program provides a huge opportunity to share that enthusiasm and showcase the depth of roles available.
“Our exclusive Gold Resources Kits and unique Gold Class Sessions highlight the industry’s sustainability practices and projects, as well as its far-reaching community impact, and are exciting students about exploring a career in Australia’s diverse gold sector.”
Carter said it had been rewarding to see the majority of students raising their hands at the end of each session when asked who wants to explore a career in gold, with teachers indicating 95 per cent of students want to find out more about careers after using the kits.
“I am thrilled this year we will be offering a record 1000 Gold Resources Kits, introducing a new careers session and expanding our session delivery into other states given the fantastic response we’ve had,” Carter said.
The program’s Gold Class facilitators are workers within the gold industry from Gold Fields, Gold Road Resources, Northern Star Resources, Bellevue Gold, Evolution Mining, AngloGold Ashanti Australia, St Barbara, Agnico Eagle, the Perth Mint, Ramelius Resources and Westgold Resources.
They represent the wide range of careers available, including metallurgists, environmental advisors, exploration geologists, human resources advisors and personal assistants, through to general managers and vice presidents.
Passionate Gold Class facilitator and Gold Fields project geologist Craig Talbot has delivered five sessions and is eager to do more.
“Being a facilitator in the Gold Industry Group’s National Gold Education Program has been incredibly rewarding,” he said.
“It offers a fun, interactive way to show students just how interesting gold and mining can be through engaging, hands-on activities and presentations.
“Seeing a room full of hands in the air at the end of the session when I ask the question, ‘Who would like to have a career in the gold industry?’, shows just how powerful these sessions can be.”
This feature appeared in the May issue of Australian Mining.