The University of Queensland and Rio Tinto have signed an agreement to create a pipeline of graduates for the mining industry.
The two have announced a new corporate education agreement that will focus on developing academic leadership, and building skills and capability for the mining industry.
It will also look at increasing diversity within the sector by targeting female and indigenous students.
This agreement is part of a wider program by Rio to increase skilled workers for the mining industry.
The $2.5 million partnership will run for five years and includes 39 scholarships, two post-doctoral fellowships, the creation of a new bachelor's degree in geotechnical engineering, and an initiative to increase women's' engineering enrolments by 15%.
Deborah Terry, UQ's vice chancellor, welcomed the partnership.
UQ applauds Rio Tinto’s support for future academic leaders, because it will give recent PhD graduates career paths that encourage them to educate and mentor coming generations of scientists and engineers,” Terry said.
Rio energy chief Doug Ritchie added that "this initiative is aimed at building skills and capability for the mining industry both now and into the future.
"The 39 scholarships, the first of which will be available from semester one 2013, will provide financial support to students throughout their university degrees, access to mining related education, field trips and internships.
"This agreement will help provide a healthy talent pipeline into our two-year Rio Tinto global graduate development program."
This is the third education agreement Rio has signed recently, after it set up similar agreements with the University of WA and Imperial College London.