Inspiring the next generation of skilled workers, Get Into Resources has provided secondary school students with a unique insight into the resources sector and its potential 150 career pathways.
Schools from all over Perth city and the hills region were invited to attend the three day event, held at the North Metropolitan TAFE from 20 - 22 June, sponsored by Gold Industry Group members Gold Fields, St Barbara and Earth Science WA.
Each day began with a welcome address and safety message, before an inspiring guest speaker from the resources industry shared their real life experience. Students were then divided into groups of 10 and attended blocks of interactive sessions and exhibits throughout the day.
Major sponsor Gold Fields headlined the second day with Vice President of Legal and Compliance and Gold Industry Group Vice Chair, Kelly Carter, delivering an entertaining presentation. Detailing her first experience working in the resources industry in Australia, Ms Carter explained how her first trip to the outback essentially sowed the seed for her future career.
“I was intrigued by the scale of the resources industry in WA,” she said.
Although she returned to the UK to finish her qualifications and spent four years working as a corporate lawyer, Ms Carter said the experience had had such a profound impact on both her and her husband, a mechanical design engineer, that they made the move back to Australia.
To give the students an idea of the diversity of roles available within a mining company, she explained the opportunities she has had to be actively involved in industry events and initiatives such as the Heart of Gold Discovery Trails, the Diggers and Dealers conference, and the Women in Gold Great Debate.
Ms Carter also said she was not the typical ‘Ally McBeal’ version of a lawyer, showing them slides of herself and her legal team out on various mine sites, dressed in hi-vis and PPE. Ms Carter had students on the edge of their seats as she described the various and unexpected opportunities that have become available to her, such as working closely with the Aboriginal communities, developing safety programs for mine workers, and even participating in a federal court case over native title that took place under ‘a Bunnings-style canopy’ in the bush.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined working in an industry as vast as the resources sector is now,” she said.
The sessions that followed gave the students the chance to experience what real work in the resources industry would entail, with fun and engaging hands-on activities. Activities included entering a simulated underground mine and trying their hands at virtual reality welding. Exhibits gave students the chance to approach passionate representatives from a range of resources companies. A wide variety of industry professionals, technicians and trades were on hand to demonstrate or discuss their roles and how the students can get into those professions, including which senior school subjects they’d need to select. Collectively, the sessions and exhibits showcased a wide variety of career pathways in the resources industry, including engineering, geology, geophysics, metallurgy, and surveying.