Employers in the Upper Spencer Gulf are set to benefit from Australia’s first university-level traineeship, the Associate Degree in Engineering, to be delivered by Uni Hub Spencer Gulf and partner CQUniversity.

 The South Australian Skills Commission recently approved the industry-accredited qualification, which will provide locally supported training for Associate Engineer and Engineering Technician roles.

 The initiative was led by the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA), in partnership with Uni Hub Spencer Gulf, CQUniversity (CQU) and the Yorke and Mid North Local Employment Facilitator, with support from Global Maintenance USG, the Construction, Mining and Energy Industry Skills Council, the Minerals Council of Australia and Engineers Australia.

 RESA’s Chief Executive Officer, Jodie Badcock, explained the qualification provided a defined pathway into mining, civil and electrical engineering roles, which were in short supply in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

“This traineeship is the result of strong collaboration between industry, regional and university partners and will fill a gap in workforce demand for upcoming projects and existing operations across the resources and infrastructure sectors,” she said.

“Whilst there have been a number of pilot projects investigating the new ‘Advanced Apprenticeship’ model, this is the first to be declared in its own right. It’s a great win for the region and for the State.”

Uni Hub CEO, Anita Kuss said the declaration allowed local employers to upskill existing workers or offer new employees a traineeship under a subsidised contract of training arrangement.

“Employers are often familiar with this arrangement for their annual intake of traditional trade-based apprentices or trainees. This is the same process, but for a university-level engineering qualification,” Ms Kuss said.

“The traineeship opens opportunities for progression for traditional trades and technical personnel into related tertiary engineering roles, through CQU’s Associate Degree in Engineering, with specialisation streams in Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Geology or Mining Engineering.

“Whilst the academic course content is delivered online by our partner university, CQU, Uni Hub provides additional, local support for students including course tutors, assistance with placement and residentials.”

The traineeship is available now, with students commencing their formal studies in late February 2022.

IMAGE: Pictured were, from left, Uni Hub Spencer Gulf CEO Anita Kuss, Resource and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA) CEO Jodie Badcock and Uni Hub Spencer Gulf Engineering Program coordinator Lynn Wallace.