The Marshall Liberal Government is investing in a $2 million scholarship program to increase the number of students undertaking a resources-related engineering course in the State’s tertiary education system.
A $1.2 million grant from the State Government will be paired with $880,000 from the resources industry and administered by the Playford Memorial Trust.
“The resources sector is set for significant growth in the near future but is facing a shortage of qualified engineers as a result of a fall in the number of students enrolled in engineering courses,” said Minister for Mining and Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
“The Marshal Government’s Growth State plan is a partnership between government and industry to drive economic growth and the jobs and prosperity that will bring to South Australia.
“A strong resources sector is an essential component of South Australia’s prosperity and currently accounts for more than 35 per cent of the state’s exports.
“Increasing exploration, mining, mineral processing and the related supply chain activities is crucial to achieving the Marshall Liberal Government’s 3 per cent growth target.
The $2 million scholarship program is designed to avert specialist mining and petroleum engineering skills shortages in the resources sector by making South Australia an attractive place to study and work.
“It’s important that young people with an aptitude for science and engineering understand just how highly their skills are valued and just how important they are to the future economic and environmental health of South Australia.
“To be eligible scholarship recipients currently must intend to spend a significant part of their career in South Australia or be likely to provide a benefit for the state.
“The scholarships are designed to foster a growing resources sector in South Australia which will help keep the best and brightest students in South Australia for much of their working lives.
“The $20,000 scholarships on offer through the program will support around 100 students undertaking mining and petroleum engineering courses during the next six years.
The $2 million scholarship fund complements the Marshall Government $10 million Advanced Discovery Initiative and the Explore SA investment to drive resource exploration across the state.
“The ADI is a pivotal incentive to attract the exploration investment required to uncover future mines.
“It empowers industry to make new discoveries while reducing the substantial financial and technical risk involved in exploring greenfield sites.
“The Marshall Government’s ExploreSA is a groundbreaking $250,000 crowdsourced open data competition to fast-track the discovery of mineral deposits in South Australia.
“Using the Geological Survey of South Australia’s historical records, primary data and research, the competition combines geological expertise with new mathematical, machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase the number of potential drill targets across central South Australia.”