A new proposal to use Queensland's resources boom to fuel the education of the next generation of students was launched this week. From Mines to Minds: A proposal to establish a Queensland Education Trust outlines the establishment of a multi-billion dollar Queensland Education Trust to be funded by 50 per cent of future Liquefied Natural Gas royalties. Queensland's resources boom has the state on the cusp of an exciting new era, and harnessing this will help us ensure the future for Queensland students is brighter than ever before. Under the two models being considered, the funds will either be set aside for students to spend on education when they turn 18, or put into a larger investment fund to subsidise education programs. The plan is open for public consultation until February and I encourage you all to have a say.
The final 14 schools to pilot Year 7 in high school from 2013 were named this week, representing a broad cross section of schools across Queensland. They will join the other six schools announced earlier this year as the first to pilot Year 7 in a secondary environment ahead of the statewide move in 2015. The pilot schools will provide invaluable information about how to make the transition easier for schools, students and parents. Congratulations to all 20 schools selected for the pilot program and thank you to all applicants. We had a great response, confirming that this exciting reform is welcomed in schools and communities across the state.
Another discussion paper released this week - Local decisions: stronger school communities - will see schools consulting with their local communities about decisions being made at a school level, for the benefit of students' learning. The consultation will explore the right mix of flexibility and support for schools to extend their local decision making abilities. This discussion is timely given the Federal Government's announcement of $48.5 million over seven years for the Empowering Local Schools initiative . School staff, parents and the wider community are invited to be part of this consultation process, which continues through to 30 March 2012. For more information read the article in Education Views. The discussion paper and survey questions are available on the local decisions page.
The successful Resources 101 courses will be expanded to enable more Queensland job seekers to gain the skills to kickstart a career in the resources sector. More than 24,000 job seekers attended the recent Work for Queensland Expos held around the state, with around 3,000 jobseekers expressing interest in Resources 101 courses. The response to this initial round of courses has been so positive that the number of course places will double from 500 to 1000. The free TAFE-run courses give unemployed or underemployed Queenslanders an introduction to what is required to secure work in the resources industry. The Resources 101 program is available through TAFE institutes in Cairns, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Whitsunday, Wide Bay Burnett and Mount Isa.
Earlier this week, Skills Queensland held an industry event to commemorate its achievements in its inaugural year and outline future priorities. Skills Queensland's Jobs and Skills Package, the Strategic Investment Fund and its role in endorsing the state migration plan were acknowledged. As a member of the Skills Queensland Board, it has been my pleasure to work with the leadership team to drive industry-led change to skills and training in Queensland. Skills Queensland will deliver its first annual Queensland Skills and Workforce Development Investment Plan to the government before 30 November. It will outline skills investment and reforms to support Queensland.
This week I spoke at the final workshop of the department's Leadership Mentoring Program. This year's program ran from May to November, with 32 participants from schools, TAFE Institutes, central and regional offices completing the course. The program demonstrates the department's investment in the future of its workforce. The feedback I have received is that the program greatly enhanced networking opportunities within the department, and helped put the concepts behind United in our Pursuit of Excellence into action. Many also valued the positive, productive and professional relationship that developed between mentor and mentoree. I'd like to thank everyone who has made this program such a success.
The eSmart cybersafety framework available to Queensland state schools will be the focus of a luncheon attended by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark tomorrow in Melbourne. Princess Mary will discuss eSmart in her role as patron of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation which developed the eSmart resource. Queensland's anti-bullying expert Dr Michael Carr-Gregg will attend the event along with business leaders to highlight the issues of cyber bullying and bullying and to showcase the eSmart system. Schools are encouraged to find out more about eSmart on their website .
Queensland Ready Readers will soon be hanging up their books and badges for the year as the program's second year draws to a close. Volunteers have put in a combined total of several thousand hours of unpaid work in Queensland classrooms this year, helping to boost children's enjoyment and skills in reading. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, and also to the schools that welcome and recognise the invaluable work they do in the classroom. The recruitment drive for more volunteers will continue in 2012, with training starting up again in February. If you know someone who might be interested in signing up to be a Queensland Ready Reader, please visit the Flying Start website for more information.
If you have any questions on departmental initiatives, please send them to the Inquiries Mailbox.
This page was last reviewed on 30 Nov 2011