There has been a jump in the number of industry scholarships offered in Wollongong as more students opt for the mining industry as their career choice.
The NSW Minerals Council, BHP Billiton and Peabody Energy Australia held a careers event in the region this week, drawing many students contemplating a career in mining and wanting to know more.
NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee said the event aimed to inform students of the employment opportunities and the variety of roles for local students across the Illawarra and beyond.
“We’re also here to recognise the 16 local students awarded industry-funded NSW Mining Scholarships,” Galilee said.
“This year, we will support a record 82 students across the state to study a minerals-related degree or course comprising both new and existing students in the rolling three-year program.
“Diverse roles from science, geology and engineering, to a variety of trades and apprenticeships, are all available to hard-working and enthusiastic young people, and women in particular are encouraged to give mining a go.”
Galilee added participants get $500 in year 11, $1000 in year 12 and $2000 in sponsorship if they finish their first year of a minerals-related tertiary course.
They are also provided with a mentor from a local company, the Illawarra Mercury reported.
The scholarships come in the wake of a recent report on training and education in the minerals sector in Australia, which showed that apprentices and trainees comprise about five per cent of the mining workforce, and female apprentices and trainees represent 15 per cent of those.
“Over 7000 people are directly employed in mining across the Illawarra and South East,” Galilee said.
Over 100 students from years 10 to 12 attended the careers event along with their teachers and families.