Up-and-coming engineers sample local government

Three Central Queensland councils have collaborated to give civil engineering students on-the-job work experience in local government and encourage young professionals to work in regional communities.

A vacation work program has been developed with Bowen Basin Regional Roads and Transport Group (BBRTG) committee members Isaac Regional Council, Central Highlands Regional Council and Banana Shire Council, where each council will host three vacation students over three years while they study.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor, Anne Baker, said, “The Regional Skills Development Program is a unique program to Central Queensland.

“It exposes students studying civil engineering to a vast range of skills and training, which is a requirement for their degree while allowing them to tap into the knowledge of local government across three regional councils.”

Central Highlands Mayor, Kerry Hayes, said the program would give students invaluable insight into local government and make Central Queensland an important hub for professional development.

“We are committed to providing strong employment outcomes for our vacation students,” Mayor Hayes said.

“Central Queensland is a great place to work and live. By hosting these students for on-the-job experience, we can highlight a career in engineering at a regional council as a viable option while helping guide them to create long term career pathways.”

The BBRTG committee recognised the challenges regional Central Queensland councils had in recruiting for graduate engineer positions.

Banana Shire Council Mayor, Neville Ferrier, said, “The program is designed to address the lack of opportunities for engineering students to gain regional work experience while helping fill essential skills gaps in regional councils.

“The Regional Skills Development Program will help support the region’s future leaders in their journey from education and training to employment, and ensure we have the skilled workers we need now and for years to come.”

Undergraduate Engineer, Daniel Crowley, said he was grateful for the opportunity, especially as he can work in his home town of Moranbah.

“It has been a great experience since I started at Isaac Regional Council in November 2019.

“I am gaining lots of new skills which will be beneficial for me when I finish my degree and enter the workforce.”

The Regional Skills Development Program will see three students rotated across three councils over three years, beginning from their second year of study. The program is funded through the participating councils under the Bowen Basin Regional Roads and Transport Group.