Thomas Case has started an electrical apprenticeship at BMA's Blackwater mine.
Thomas Case has started an electrical apprenticeship at BMA's Blackwater mine.

Emerald teen a step closer to dream career

EMERALD teenager Thomas Case is excited. He will take the next step towards his dream career when he starts his apprenticeship at BMA’s Blackwater Mine on Monday.

Mr Case is aiming to become an electrical engineer, following what is becoming a family tradition.

“It means a lot to me that I am able to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather, my uncle and my cousin who are all electricians,” he said.

The 18-year-old is also studying a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Southern Queensland and is looking forward to combining the theory and practical learning.

“The apprenticeship will give me more experience and hands-on work in the field,” he said.

“It will be good to not only do the theory but the actual work as well.”

Mr Case is one of 56 new BMA apprentices set to start at mines across the Bowen Basin.

BMA asset president James Palmer said it was crucial that BMA’s workforce was constructed from a solid foundation of local people.

“For BMA to continue being a valued part of Central Queensland we need to ensure it has successful, sustainable and vibrant communities, and our apprenticeship program is one of the key ways that we are investing in this region’s future.” Mr Palmer said.

“We have a fantastic group of apprentices joining us this year, from school leavers through to experienced workers, indigenous people, men and women.

“We see them as a cornerstone of our business.”

This year’s cohort comprises apprentices from across the region including 12 from Moranbah, four from Blackwater, four from Dysart, 12 from greater Mackay, five from the Rockhampton region and seven from Central and North Queensland.

There are a variety of trades represented in the new cohort including electricians, diesel fitters, auto-electricians, mechanical fitters and boilermakers.

The apprentices completed a six-week work readiness program at the Coalfield Training Excellence Centre prior to commencing work on Monday at mines throughout the Bowen Basin.

The program equipped them with the skills required to work at mine sites, with a heavy emphasis on safety.

BMA is partnering with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, CQ University and the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network in the delivery of its apprenticeship program