Simulated mine site to promote engineering careers to students

Local students from Brisbane to Queensland’s far north west will experience mining careers first hand at Glencore’s Mount Isa mine this week.

The Make It Now in Engineering (MINE) camp is a result of a partnership between the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and Queensland Government, where students from Mount Isa and Cloncurry schools get a chance to solve real engineering problems onsite.

They will be mentored by Glencore staff, before showcasing their projects to the company’s management.

“This program is really important in not only demonstrating the kind of careers kids can pursue in resources, but also in equipping the next generation of technical specialists with the skills they need to drive and grow the sector, which plays such a critical role in the health of our nation’s economy,” manager of human resources for Glencore’s North Queensland operations, Leanne Ryder, said.

The Gateway to Industry Schools program benefits 46 schools throughout Queensland.

In the simulated mine site, students are exposed to science technology engineering and maths (STEM) related occupations and trade careers.

Ryder said, “These camps are highly regarded by Glencore as we know a high proportion of students who attend end up on STEM or trade career pathways.”

Last month, Australia’s top universities reported an alarming drop in students enrolling in mining engineering, with only eight graduating as mining engineers from the University of Western Australia in 2018. The University of NSW also received the lowest enrolment level in mining engineering in 40 years, accepting just eight enrolments in 2017.

Youth research agency YouthInsight revealed that low consideration of a career in mining was driven by a lack of knowledge, with 45 per cent of respondents saying, “It’s not an industry I’ve ever thought about” and 40 per cent saying, “I don’t know anything about mining.”


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