Government applauded for engineering futures
A NEW PROGRAM to encourage people into engineering careers has been welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the employment-based, pre-apprenticeship pathway is a great initiative by the Queensland Government at a time when our sector is experiencing skills shortages.
“Skills shortages are the number one concern of our member CEOs, according to a recent QRC report and engineering is one of those critical shortage areas,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The Pre-Apprenticeship Support program is also designed to increase the completion rate of apprenticeships. I applaud the Premier on the initiative, which includes a new Certificate I in Engineering to help people transition into an apprenticeship."
The two-year $25 million Pre-Apprenticeship Support program aims to support people looking to start a trade career or want to advance in their current trade, according to Mr Macfarlane.
“With the halt on skilled migration because of Covid-19 restrictions, we are also experiencing a shortage of trades people, so we really welcome programs that encourage people to take up trade careers," he said
Mr Macfarlane said the program complemented the efforts of QRC’s education arm, the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), which is on a mission to encourage young people into professional and trade careers, with a particular emphasis on Indigenous and female participation.
“Our sector has kept the Queensland economy afloat during Covid and will also lead us through the post-Covid recovery, so attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is vital,"Mr Macfarlane said.
“Despite the uncertainty and upheaval in 2020, the resources sector remained the largest source of Queensland’s merchandise exports.
“Over the 12 months to July 2021, resources exports made up $46 billion of the state’s total merchandise exports of $60 billion.”