Apprentice to give QMEA Keynote

02 December 2019

Apprentice to give QMEA Keynote

Rockhampton apprentice diesel fitter Riley Stewart is stepping up to the podium today (Wednesday Dec 4) to discuss career pathways in the resources sector

The Hastings Deering second year apprentice was selected to give a keynote address at the annual Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) ‘Year in Review’ breakfast hosted by BHP.

In 2015, the former Biloela State High School student was himself was a QMEA ambassador. 

The QMEA is a partnership between the Queensland Resources Council and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program. 

The Queensland resources sector provides one in every five dollars in the Queensland economy, sustains one in seven Queensland jobs, and supports more than 14,400 businesses and community organisations across the state, all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.  

Students selected as QMEA ambassadors, from the 74 QMEA schools across the state, will receive their certificates from the Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, Minister for Employment & Small Business and Minister for Training & Skills Development at Wednesday’s breakfast with more than 100 people expected to attend.

Earlier this year Riley won the Hastings Deering Trainers’ Choice Award for his commitment to training at their annual Apprentice of the Year competition and will be in the running for the Hastings Deering Top Apprentice of the Year Awards in 2020.

“As an ambassador I was active in promoting the workplaces I had the opportunity to visit throughout my time with QMEA,” Riley said, “It was also rewarding, that as an ambassador, I could actively promote the program to students to consider resources sector subjects and careers.”  

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

Hastings Deering’s General Manager-People and External Affairs Vincent Cosgrove said the ambassador program was critical for using peers to champion careers in the resources sector. 

“These students will go back to their schools and share their enthusiasm for these career pathways,” Mr Cosgrove said. “Riley is a great example of how seeing just how workplaces operate can cement an idea into an action. They are getting some invaluable workplace exposure.” 

QRC’s Director of Skills, Education & Diversity Katrina Lee Jones said it was critical for industries to work with governments to teach young students about science, technology, engineering and maths along with technical trade skills. 
 
“Tomorrow’s workforce will require tomorrow’s skills,” Ms Jones said.  “The QMEA uses the latest knowledge and advice in STEM and trades to teach the students as well as helping students after school with pathways towards employment or further study.”

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