STUDENTS at WA’s universities cannot graduate from resources industry-related disciplines because of a lack of vacation placement positions.
Students of geology, mining engineering, metallurgy and other minerals-based courses have found it difficult to complete the compulsory 12-week vacation work component of their degrees because there aren’t enough places available with mining companies.
Curtin University mining engineering student James Read said some students had spent three years trying to get vacation work. “I started looking in Tasmania because they don’t have any mining schools there but I haven’t found anything,” Mr Read said. Since the mining boom there has been a surge in the number of minerals-related university students. Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) Perth branch chairman Chris Davis said that some students would not be awarded their degrees until months after they had graduated because they could not fulfil the requirements of the qualification. “Mining graduates are a readily available workforce for mining companies,” he said. “All these students want is to have a go on a mine site over the summer holidays, learn something about the industry, get a bit more passionate about their profession and help their company with some sweat while earning a few bucks.”
According to the Department of Mines and Petroleum, there are more than 200 active mining operations in WA. Mr Davis said that the mining industry needed to try harder to accommodate students seeking vacation work. More than 200 students from the University of Western Australia, Curtin University (including the WA School of Mines) and Murdoch University need vacation work.
By Kate Christou