Why Further Training?
The imperative of Australian Universities is to provide diversity in their undergraduate degree programs, but this leads to a marked shortfall in their ability to provide a sufficient range of the necessary vocational skills required for graduates to enter the workforce with adequate training. The problem is exacerbated for science disciplines such as Geology, where applied skills related to operation of state-of-the-art technical equipment, and interpretation of relevant data output, are an essential part of everyday activities within the profession.
From an Industry perspective, there is a strong need for early to mid-career employees to improve and/or broaden their skill base, to become effective an efficient members of the working team. A Professional development Training Program will provide a comprehensive range of professional geological and geotechnical based skills, which have the potential to substantially improve productivity. Not only will these skills assist everyday decision making, but will facilitate better utilisation of consultants and consultancy reports. The courses will give early to mid-career geoscientists much greater competence, ability and confidence to operate in the workplace.
A newly established professional development training program at the University of Newcastle, facilitated by the NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience, aims to overcome the shortfall in skills training. The program is a collaboration between the NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience, the Coalfields Geology Council of NSW, and the NSW State Government. It is a program devised "by the industry for the industry", with additional input form the NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience and the State Government, via the Geological Survey of NSW.
The program will consist of twelve or more courses. These courses will be generally presented as 5-day intensive modules at the University of Newcastle or within the Hunter Valley, on a 2-year turnaround. Some courses, or part thereof, will be located "on-site" at various mines, including the NuCoal Training Mine in the Upper Hunter region. Four courses will run in 2012, in November/December. From 2013 onwards, some courses will be run during Semester. Popular courses might be run annually.
A Certificate will be awarded for each course completed. Credit for the successful completion of courses can be transferable to a relevant post-graduate or Masters Program at the University of Newcastle. Each course is assessed by the University to ensure it meets the educational standards, with minimum requirement for acceptability of each course being an assessable item. Please note that transfer of credit to a post-graduate or Masters programs will be only available to participants who hold a University Degree. The assignment will involve completion and write-up of laboratory assignments or a written document related to the topic.
The NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience is seeking endorsement and accreditation for the program within the AusIMM and the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG), and intend for it to become a benchmark for the Coal Industry in Australia. AusIMM and AIG have provided written support for the NSW IFG professional development training courses.
Each course will consist of at least 40 contact hours as part of the 5-day intensive, followed by the assessable assignment designed to demonstrate the capacity to generate and interpret geological data relevant to the course objectives. The intensives will be run by experts in their field chosen by the Coalfields Geology Council of NSW, and will include academics, consultants, Government and Industry geologists.
Numbers for each course will be capped at twenty (20) in the first year. Entry requirement is a BSc degree or three (3) years experience as a Coal Geologist in the Industry.
On or near campus accommodation can be arranged.