Work experience for regional students
A PROGRAM developed in collaboration between three Central Queensland councils will see civil engineering students get on-the-job work experience in local government and encourage young professionals to work in regional communities.
A vacation work program has been developed with Bowen Basin Regional Roads and Transport Group committee members, Isaac Regional Council, Central Highlands Regional Council and Banana Shire Council, where each council will host three vacation students over three years while they study.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said the Regional Skills Development Program was a great way for students to embark on an exciting career in the regions while experiencing the unique lifestyle first-hand.
“The Regional Skills Development Program is a unique program to Central Queensland,” Mayor Baker said.
“It exposes students studying civil engineering to a vast range of skills and training, which is a requirement for their degree, while allowing them to tap into the knowledge of local government across three regional councils.
“This is an exciting collaborative project between Isaac Regional Council, Central Highlands Regional Council and Banana Shire Council.”
Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes said the program would give students an invaluable insight into local government and make Central Queensland an important hub for professional development.
“We are committed to providing strong employment outcomes for our vacation students,” Mayor Hayes said.
“Central Queensland is a great place to work and live. By hosting these students for on-the-job experience, we can highlight a career in engineering at a regional council as a viable option while helping guide them to create long-term career pathways.”
The BBRTG committee recognised the challenges regional Central Queensland councils had in recruiting for graduate engineer positions.
Banana Shire Council Mayor Neville Ferrier said, by identifying those challenges, the committee was able to find a solution.
“The program is designed to address the lack of opportunities for engineering students to gain regional work experience while helping fill essential skills gaps in regional councils,” Mayor Ferrier said.
“The Regional Skills Development Program will help support the region’s future leaders in their journey from education and training to employment, and ensure we have the skilled workers we need now and for years to come.”
Undergraduate engineer Daniel Crowley said he was grateful for the opportunity, especially as he could work in his home town of Moranbah.
“It has been a great experience since I started at Isaac Regional Council in November 2019,” Mr Crowley said.
“I am gaining lots of new skills which will be beneficial for me when I finish my degree and enter the workforce.”
Mayor Baker said it was great to see the first student hired was a homegrown Moranbah local.
“It brings me great pleasure to see Central Queensland talent nurtured and their skills developed at the same time as working in their local community.
“We are a region driven by pure people power. People come here by way of opportunity and many find a reason to stay.”
The Regional Skills Development Program will see three students rotated across three councils over three years, beginning from their second year of study. The program is funded through the participating councils under the Bowen Basin Regional Roads and Transport Group.