Hunter Coal Festival’s Mining Careers Day offers students a taste of the industry

February 24, 2015

On March 19, students from six Lake Macquarie high schools will have the opportunity to learn about a career in coal mining with a tour of three world-class industry training facilities – all located around the Newcastle region. 
 
The tour is part of the three-week Hunter Coal Festival, which during the second half of March will showcase the contribution the resources industry has made throughout the Hunter Valley. 
 
According to HunterNet’s Project Director Wayne Diemar the Festival’s Mining Careers Day tour will include visits to two world-leading underground mine simulations, letting students experience the realities of mine work in a safe and controlled environment.
 
“The tour will start with a walk through of the UGM Group’s simulated coal mine at Teralba where the students will experience just what it is like to work in such a unique workplace environment. 
 
“At UGM, the students will be learning what it’s like to be in a mine, in a highly realistic simulation, giving them an understanding of how dark and noisy it can be,” he said.
 
Next stop will be Coal Services’ Newcastle Mines Rescue station at Argenton, where students will develop an understanding of the importance of safety and experience its state-of-the-art facilities including a tour of the underground gallery and virtual reality (VR) theatres.
 
In the VR theatre, students will be immersed within a fully operational open-cut and underground mine.
 
Students will also be provided with the basic skills to assess any situation that may have risks.  
 
Mr Diemar said the Mines Rescue station tour would “give students an understanding of the dangers inherent in the industry, which is why safety is so critical.”
 
The tour finishes up at Hunter TAFE which will be hosting an open day at its Newcastle Campus for all high schools in the region.
 
Hunter TAFE is NSW’s largest regional provider of vocational education and training, offering industry-recognised qualifications in 17 career areas. 
 
This open day will provide students the opportunity to tour Hunter TAFE’s modern facilities and receive valuable career advice from teachers and career counsellors.
 
“TAFE’s training options cover a wide range of skills across the Pit to Port process, and associated careers, and opportunities in the mining industry are virtually unlimited,” Mr Diemar said. 
 
He said the fully interactive Mining Careers Day would give students an understanding of how mines operate, how the industry works, and the careers available.
 
“We really want to get the message to students and their parents that there are still career opportunities in the resources sector, whether in hard rock mining, coal mining, or related industry sectors,” he said.
 
“There are world-class mining areas throughout this country, which means there are careers in the resources sector for many many years to come.”
 
Mr Diemar said the mining industry had a strong future in the region citing the record exports from the Newcastle port in December last year. 
 
“Those levels of shipments will continue for a long time – and that coal still has to come out of the ground, it still has to be stockpiled, loaded, transported shipped and all of the associated equipment still requires maintenance,” he said. 
 
  “Over the next few weeks, we will be visiting schools, and inviting students who may be interested in a career in the resources industry.” 
 
Students interested in participating in the Hunter Mining Festival’s Mining Careers Day should email info@huntercoalfestival.com.au for further information or visit huntercoalfestival.com.au
 

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