Helping to meet the boom in demand for geology graduates is the aim of a new scholarship scheme at the University of Newcastle.
The University and Xstrata Coal have joined together to provide up to six scholarships of $8,000 per year to students commencing a Bachelor of Science degree program majoring in earth sciences (geology stream).
The scholarships are designed to attract more students to a career in geology and help the industry overcome its employment crisis.
Dr Phillip Geary, Head of the Discipline of Earth Sciences, said the demand for earth scientists was increasing.
"The mining and exploration industries are particularly large employers of geologists in Australia and graduates are walking into jobs with excellent starting salaries because they are in such high demand," he said.
"This is due to both growth in the Australian manufacturing sector, and an increasing global focus on developing an environmentally sustainable world."
"The correct management of energy, groundwater and soils is a vital part of this process."
Geology graduates generally find employment in a range of areas, as exploration or mining geologists, environmental consultants, geological surveyors, petroleum geologists, research scientists, and in education and environmental management.
Xstrata Coal NSW Chief Operating Officer, Mick Buffier, said the company was committed to supporting the scholarship program.
"As part of our ongoing commitment to the local communities which support our operations, we are proud to be working with the University of Newcastle to encourage the next generation of geologists."
"As an employer of choice within the mining industry, Xstrata Coal is pleased to be playing its part in helping provide new educational and practical experience opportunities for emerging talent in the important field of earth sciences."
Applications for the scholarships close on Thursday 31 January 2008. For scholarship information contact the Scholarships Office (02) 4921 6539.