QMEA Ambassadors Alissa Bradford, Croydon Sutton, Jake Thomasson, Keearna Lane, Alexis Ahmann and Claire Briggs.
QMEA Ambassadors Alissa Bradford, Croydon Sutton, Jake Thomasson, Keearna Lane, Alexis Ahmann and Claire Briggs.

Young ambassadors for the resource sector

The Cathedral College’s Jake Thomasson and Alexis Ahmann will be starting year 12 next year as ambassadors for the resources sector after they were chosen by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy to receive the QMEA ambassador award.

Together with Moura State High School’s Claire Briggs and Croydon Sutton, Dysart State High’s Alissa Bradford and Blackwater State High’s Keearna Lane they were among 20 students chosen from 75 QMEA-affiliated schools from as far north as Mount Isa and Townsville, to Central Queensland and the Coalfields as well as Brisbane in the South East.

The students made it through a selection process which included showcasing work performed in school and in the community including leaderships roles, charity support and extra-curricular activities.

As part of the award the students spent three days in Brisbane engaging with the cutting edge of mining and resources innovation including a visit to Hastings Deering’s headquarters in Archerfield.

Hastings Deering’s General Manager-People and External Affairs Vincent Cosgrove said touring facilities like Hastings Deering gave students a snapshot of the underpinning skills and knowledge of many of mining’s support industries.

“They are terrific kids with genuine intent to pursue careers in the resources sector,” Mr Cosgrove said. “We make it as hands on as possible: allowing them to talk to people about future roles and meeting people who will become contacts they can refer back to when they finish school or university. The ambassador program can really give them a head start in the state’s resources sector.”

Skills and training continue to be an ongoing issue for State and Federal Governments along with peak industry bodies.

The Australian Industry Group has reported 75 per cent of businesses recently surveyed were struggling to find qualified workers they needed.

The Minister for training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said QMEA was a fantastic program providing a talent pipeline of skilled and motivated high school graduates.

QRC’s Director of Skills, Education & Diversity Katrina Lee Jones said the program was a great opportunity for industry to interact with the next generation of young minds coming through our local education systems.

“It also allows those industries to give back to the local communities that support them. Data collected since 2012 shows every year, a significant percentage of our ambassadors have chosen careers in this sector. Adding to that 92% of students say the QMEA events relate school to real world careers, with 94% of teachers saying the events improve teaching of minerals and energy topics.”

The students are a mixture of those taking a professional pathway (intending to study a STEM - science, technology, education and math - related course at university) and VET pathways (intending to gain a trade).

The QMEA aims to promote the idea of professional and trade pathways and people working together along with promoting the latest and greatest of technology, training and opportunities in the minerals and energy sector.