PRIME is a two-year collaboration that sees NSWMC work alongside RDA Hunter, which boasts a strong reputation for implementing industry-skilling and workforce development initiatives to increase awareness of the NSW mining industry and its career opportunities.
The alliance will help Hunter secondary school students better appreciate how science, maths and geography apply across the lifecycle of a mine and the types of skills and jobs required to support local operations.
The project includes the implementation of mining-specific content, scenario-based learning activities and real-world problem solving in the classroom.
Based on the strong foundational year in 2020, it is anticipated that even more educational facilities will adopt the PRIME program in 2021.
Twenty schools across the Hunter participated last year.
Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the NSWMC was happy to be working with RDA Hunter to promote the breadth of mining career opportunities in the region.
“NSW’s mining sector is consistently innovating and our aim in continuing this successful project with RDA Hunter is to build a motivated future talent pool by encouraging interest in the diverse and interesting job opportunities available in the industry,” he explained.
“A career in mining can be highly rewarding and the skills acquired can open a pathway to other similar industries.
“The PRIME project builds on the work we already do in the region’s schools to support young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for a sustained career in mining and we’re looking forward to the 2021 program.”
According to RDA Hunter chair John Turner, the organisation works to assist innovation-driven industry development and jobs growth in the Hunter and is pleased to support young people considering a mining industry career.
“The mining sector continues to be a large employer and important driver of economic growth in the Hunter region,” he said.
“We’re delighted to be NSW Mineral Council’s partner of choice in the PRIME project and contributing our significant experience as a connector between Hunter schools and industry to deliver graduates with relevant industry knowledge and skills.
“We’re looking forward to working with NSW Minerals Council again in 2021 to help highlight the career opportunities that will continue to exist in the sector well into the future.”
This year the PRIME partnership will see participating Hunter high schools receive two Oculus Virtual Reality headsets each and initiatives to give students a “real” mining industry experience; lesson plans pertaining to the lifecycle of a mine; real-world industry challenges set by the mining industry for resolution by student teams; and teacher professional development sessions.