Education program creates job opportunities for young minds
A NEW technology-focused education program has been developed to ensure local students are ready for jobs of the future.
Bowen Basin Bright Minds, a partnership between BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and local schools, will entrench technology as a learning focus in 18 schools, including those in Blackwater, Capella and a handful in Emerald.
BMA Asset president James Palmer said the program was developed following community feedback that skills and training in technology-focused areas were critical to ensuring people were future fit.
“Our business, like the society in which we live, is changing rapidly,” Mr. Palmer said.
“We want to make sure that local students have every chance to be a core part of what BMA becomes, and that we are building to a shared future.”
The multimillion-dollar initiative will see several Bowen Basin schools elevate to become Schools of Excellence in Technology, as they embed future-focused learning into their curricula.
The program will boost STEM-related learning for local students from Prep right up to Year 12.
Blackwater State High School principal Rebecca Godfrey said Bowen Basin Bright Minds would support local students to be the local employees of the future.
“The project will give us an opportunity to create programs and learning opportunities that will give them the skills they need to be future employees in our local industries,” she said.
“Students here often say ‘I’m not going to be able to get a job because there won’t be any more truck drivers’.
“But this allows them to hone skills in the areas they need and adapt to fit the jobs the mines need.”
Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace welcomed the program.
“This is a great this initiative for regional Queensland students, adding to what the Palaszczuk Government is already doing to encourage more students to get involved in STEM,” Ms Grace said.
“We’re committed to encouraging more students to engage in STEM to prepare them for the jobs of the future and programs like Bowen Basin Bright Minds will help in achieving this goal.”
The partnership has been co-designed by BMA, Education Queensland and the 18 participating Bowen Basin schools.
From professional development in technology for teachers, to programming or equipment for students, Bowen Basin Bright Minds will give local schools the support they need to ride the crest of the fourth industrial revolution wave.
“For us this is much more than making a financial contribution,” Mr Palmer said.
“What we do today will determine how Bowen Basin communities are ready for the decades ahead.”