09 July 2012
RMIT awarded Mt Isa contract worth $900,000
RMIT University School of Engineering TAFE has been awarded a $900,000 contract to deliver instrumentation training to Xstrata and Stanwell's Mount Isa operations.
The 17-month contract involves up-skilling 28 workers at the mine and two from the nearby Stanwell power station at Mica Creek.
More than a third of the funds, $310,000, is being provided by the State Government's Skills Queensland because of a skills shortage for electrical-instrumentation recognised in the Federal Government's National Skills Needs List.
Training is being delivered jointly by subject experts from SAGE Didactic and RMIT as the Registered Training Organisation at Mount Isa Institute of TAFE.
Kinetic Group, formerly the Mining Industry Skills Centre, was the lead organisation that has brought all the groups together for the training, that started earlier this year and runs until June next year.
Specialist training equipment built by SAGE Didactic, some purpose-designed by RMIT, is providing students with a strong industry relevant learning experience.
RMIT has been delivering instrumentation training for more than 100 years.
Ron Barrow, Divisional Manager (Trades), School of Engineering TAFE, said the program focused on up-skilling and cross-training to address the skills gap around the support of site automation, process control and instrumentation.
Mr Barrow said participants would also be provided with mentor support to enhance ongoing workplace learning.
A pre-requisite for training was a Certificate III Electrotechnology (Electrician) or an A-class electrical licence.
The training was being delivered to two groups of 15 students, in training blocks ranging from three to five days per block over 17 months.
"In recent years the number of students taking up instrumentation and electronics apprenticeships has declined to the point where the skills shortages in these trades is starting to impact many industries, especially mining," Mr Barrow said.
Molten slag at Mount Isa Mines copper smelter. Photo courtesy Xstrata.