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Apprentices battle it out

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Apprentices from across QLD put their trade training to the test, competing in a range of skills challenges at the annual Glencore Skills Competition on November 7.

27 first year apprentices from Glencore sites across Queensland put their trade skills and knowledge to the test as part of the 2022 Glencore Skills Competition held at CQUniversity’s Emerald Campus.

The rigorous two-day program saw apprentices tackle theoretical and practical exercises representing the core areas of their training to date. This year the exercises included welding, electrical lighting control, hand tool machining, hydraulics, fabrication and first aid.

Glencore Projects and Training Engineer Paul Gill said the competition provided a valuable opportunity to test what the apprentices have learnt so far throughout their training.

“Our first-year apprentices spend the first 30 weeks of their studies at the Emerald TAFE Skills Centre where they acquire basic skills and an understanding of the industrial working environment before they move to their respective mines.

“For many of them this is the first time they are required to work independently and without the guidance or assistance of their teachers. Throughout the two days of competition they are solely responsible for their own work and time management as the idea is to expose them to what it’s like for a qualified tradesperson in a workplace,” said Paul.

With 14 site representatives in attendance, the apprentices are able to showcase their work and skills to their employer, allowing them to see how well they cope under pressure and identify areas that they may need to focus on in the future.

Glencore hosts the competition yearly in Queensland. The competition is scored, with points counting towards annual awards including Overall Competition Winner and Runner Up, and Mechanical and Electrical Winner and Runner up.

“While it is a competition and we will be announcing the winner at our annual apprentice event in January, the real focus is about providing ongoing support for the apprentices to give them the best possible chance of succeeding in their chosen fields,” said Paul.

“At Glencore we are committed to providing career paths for those with a keen interest to learn, particularly those from communities associated with our mining operations.”

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