The announcement by Mitsubishi Development (MDP) of a three-year, $750,000 partnership with The University of Queensland (UQ) to establish a new, hi-tech program for mining engineering students has been welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the state’s resources industry urgently needed more mining engineers now and into the future to support continued strong growth across the sector.
The announcement follows UQ’s introduction of a new program and course structure through the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, which allows students to undertake a major in mining engineering while specialising in Civil, Mechanical or Mechatronic Engineering.
MDP’s funding will be used to establish a new Future Mining Systems Initiative Director position to take technology education for mining students to a whole new level.
Mr Macfarlane said the partnership between MDP and UQ is a game-changer for Queensland’s $82.6 billion resources sector, and will create new pathways to attract the state’s brightest young minds to work in the resources sector.
“Queensland has the potential to become a global energy and resources superpower, but we need highly skilled people coming through our universities to add their technical expertise, new ideas and leadership to our workforce,” he said.
"One thing is for sure – students who study mining engineering will be almost guaranteed a job.
“Based on the QRC’s latest State of the Sector report, the number one concern of mining CEOs right now is how to recruit more skilled workers to fill positions across our sector.”
Mr Macfarlane said job opportunities in resources will continue to grow due to increasing global demand for traditional resources such as coal, base metals and gas plus accelerating demand for new economy minerals such as cobalt, graphite, vanadium and rare earths, which are used to build everything from microchips to electric vehicles.
“There will be a growing and increasingly diverse pipeline of jobs for Queenslanders in resources, with a National Skills Commission report predicting employment in this area will rise by a further eight percent to 2025,” he said.
The QRC is Queensland’s peak body for coal, metal and gas explorers, producers and suppliers across the resources sector. It contributes one in every five dollars to the state economy, supports one in six Queensland jobs, supports more than 15,000 businesses and contributes to more than 1,200 community organisations – all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.
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