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Queensland students prepare for an autonomous future

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) together with TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity Australia are training high school students to earn a qualification for emerging autonomous technology roles.

The Queensland Future Skills (QFS) Partnership will deliver government-subsidised training for the new Certificate II in Autonomous Technologies (10935NAT) to students in Central Queensland and Brisbane.

TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mary Campbell said the partnership is committed to supporting training pathways for emerging industries.

“Automation promises great potential for our future productivity in resources, advanced manufacturing and a range of other sectors,” said Ms Campbell.

“A certificate II level qualification will give the students a good taste of what kind of work goes into autonomous technologies, and with the backing of BMA we have a major employer demonstrating their interest in developing this pathway.”

“Understanding the key concepts and gaining some familiarity of how equipment and software can make a complicated task easier or keep workers safe will help to attract young people to pursue careers in this field.”

The program is an 18-month pilot to provide up to 120 high school students the opportunity to participate in this new qualification that has been developed by industry for the jobs of the future.

The Queensland Future Skills Partnership commenced delivery to four Central Queensland high schools from Semester 2, 2020 including Moranbah, Dysart and Blackwater State High Schools.

The pilot has since been expanded with a wider intake in Semester 1, 2022 to other priority areas of the state including Brisbane, Bundaberg and Mackay which was facilitated through the QFS Partnership along with the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

Participant Samuel Kirkman from Dysart State High School said he has always been interested in technology and thanks to this opportunity he is now gaining valuable skills for future industries.

“I have already learnt subjects and disciplines that wouldn’t have been available through normal avenues, Samuel said.

Meanwhile Alexandra Hills Senior College student, Kyle Pannan said the course will provide skills to prepare him for the workforce of the future.

“This course will give us the critical thinking skills to think like a computer and fit in, in an increasingly technological world,” he said.

The course provides participants with lifelong learning skills to pursue pathways into further vocational or tertiary studies as well as the training and knowledge required to work within the fields of autonomous environments.

BMA Asset President Mauro Neves said the innovative training programs will support the industry and help create new jobs.

“These students are learning the skills required to lead BMA – and the broader mining and METS industry – into the future,” he said.

“I’m thrilled to see this next phase of the program increased to provide more students across Queensland with this fantastic learning opportunity as they will no doubt play a key role in the industry in years to come.

“This contribution from the Queensland Government is a further demonstration of how we can work together to support future skills development and create new jobs for Queenslanders.”