- Premier launches innovative pilot program to develop WA students' skills and knowledge of the resources sector
- Students given 'hands-on' classroom experience in fields like automation and robotics
- Equipping students with vital training to prepare for jobs in emerging technologies
- Pilot program to be rolled out at Pilbara schools from 2020
Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today
launched a new innovative pilot program to equip Western Australian students with the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future.
The Resources Challenge: Automation pilot will give students in Years 5 and 6 'hands-on' classroom experience in the field of automation, and increase student awareness of careers in the technology and resources sector.
Students will undertake a series of challenges designed to educate them about real-world applications of digital technologies in industry, focusing on automation in the resources sector.
For example, in the first challenge, students will program autonomous trucks, blast drillers, drones, and autonomous underwater vehicles. The Challenge will be delivered online using the Grok Learning platform, with equipment such as robots, micro:bits and other course materials.
The program will initially be rolled out at schools in the Pilbara from Term 1, 2020. If successful, the program could potentially be rolled out to other parts of Western Australia.
The Challenge program is a collaboration between the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia and the Pilbara Collaboration Charter - a partnership between BHP, Chevron Australia, CITIC Pacific Mining, Fortescue Metals Group, Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Roy Hill, Woodside, Yara Pilbara and the McGowan Government.
It was developed in consultation with experts in different fields in the resources sector.
A group of Pilbara students involved in the pilot attended the Resources Technology Showcase today and are among more than 6,000 school students and participants who will have the rare opportunity to network with industry representatives who are creating the jobs of tomorrow.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"It's important that our school curriculum adapts to changes in technology to prepare WA kids for jobs of the future.
"The resources sector is a huge employer of local workers, and we need to give students the best possible chance to capitalise on these opportunities.
"Fields including artificial intelligence, augmented reality, data analytics and autonomous transport will shape the resources industry in the years to come and it's crucial that WA students are provided with the best learning tools to gain employment in these industries."
Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
"By the time our current primary school students enter the workforce, the type of work they will do will be vastly different to the types of jobs available now.
"We're committed to equipping students in WA with the skills and knowledge that they need to be able to adapt to this changing environment and stay at the fore-front of the latest technology.
"The pilot for students in the Pilbara is a fantastic example of schools, industry and government working together to encourage students to pursue the STEM field, build teachers' technology capabilities and support the pipeline for future talent in the resources sector."
Comments attributed to Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) CEO Paul Everingham:
"Digital technologies are seen as the most exciting change to the school curriculum in a generation. Technology is moving very quickly, which is why we need to ensure that today's students are equipped with the skills for the jobs of tomorrow.
"The resources sector is at the forefront of innovation and technology whether it's the dump trucks, drill rigs, autonomous underwater vehicles, or the use of drones. That's why digital skills are so vital in the twenty-first century.
"I'd like to thank all members of the Pilbara Collaboration for their commitment to developing this program, in association with the Australian Computer Academy, who helped created the real world challenges, and the WA State Government for their co-operation in facilitating this pilot."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Minister Ellery's office - 6552 5700