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PRIME Time

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Larissa Weir and Stacie McDonald from Bloomfield Group testing out the virtual reality headsets available for classroom use by students participating in PRIME.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter has partnered with NSW Minerals Council (NSWMC) and selected Hunter region high schools, for a third year of the PRIME (Pathways to Resource Industry and Mining Employment) Program.

RDA Hunter has a strong reputation for implementing skilling and workforce development initiatives to increase awareness of career opportunities in the Hunter region, including the mining sector. 

It is anticipated that over 25 schools will adopt the PRIME program in 2022.

The PRIME Program is designed for Stage 5 students to help them appreciate how science and geography apply across the lifecycle of a mine, and the types of skills and jobs required to support mining operations.

The Program includes the implementation of mining-specific content, scenario-based learning activities and real-world problem solving in the classroom.

The PRIME Program will conclude in July with selected students presenting to industry representatives, who will provide valuable feedback on their projects.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the NSWMC was happy to be working with RDA Hunter to promote the breadth of mining industry career opportunities in the Hunter.

“NSW’s mining sector is constantly innovating and by continuing this successful project with RDA Hunter we aim to build a motivated future talent pool by encouraging interest in the diverse and interesting job opportunities available in the industry,” Mr Galilee said.

“A career in mining can be highly rewarding and the skills acquired in the industry can open a pathway to other similar industries. The PRIME program 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 2022 program.”

Industry presenters Matt Travis (Maintenance & Reliability Engineer, MachEnergy) Renee Hirst (Process Engineer, Bengalla) and Jenny Park (Process Engineer, Glencore) with NSWMC CEO Stephen Galilee.

According to Chair of RDA Hunter John Turner, the organisation works to support 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,” Mr Turner 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 2022 to help highlight the career opportunities that will continue to exist in the sector well into the future.”

PRIME = Pathways to Resource Industry and Mining Employment aims to:

– Increase students’ awareness of impacts and benefits of mining in NSW
– Increase size of the pool of students with knowledge and skills-sets required by mining
– Increase student understanding of the mine life-cycle
– More potential students studying mining relevant courses at universities

20 schools participated in 2020, 25 schools participated in 2021 and 25 schools will participate in 2022.

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