LOOKING AHEAD: Chinchilla year 11 and 12 students get a tour of Cameby Downs Mine as part of the BEST Ignite Your Future Tour.
LOOKING AHEAD: Chinchilla year 11 and 12 students get a tour of Cameby Downs Mine as part of the BEST Ignite Your Future Tour. Brooke Duncan

Students go behind-the-scenes on regional careers

CHINCHILLA'S high school students are traipsing around town today to get the scoop on future careers right here in the Western Downs.

The BEST Ignite Your Future Tour is a Chinchilla Community Commerce and Industry Inc (CCCI) initiative organised to give year 11 and 12 students a look at local career options, by meeting with a variety of businesses in the area.

About 100 students jumped on buses to tour the town, checking out opportunities in STEM, health, agriculture, arts and media, and even mining, as some took the drive out to Cameby Downs Mine.

The first group of eight - six from Chinchilla State High School and two from Chinchilla Christian College, had the chance to tour the site, check out the mine's 'pit', take a look at some heavy machinery, and speak with current apprentices.

For Chinchilla State High School year 11 student Coby Calleja, it was an eye-opening trip.

"It's a really good experience for us kids to get out and explore and get a better understanding of how the Yancoal operation works and we're able to get a better perspective of all the opportunities that are available for us,” Coby said.

"It was really good for us kids to see this type of thing so close to home and really being able to appreciate what's within our region and the jobs that are available for us to really, if we wanted to, grasp and stay within the region to make it a better place.”

Chinchilla State High School teacher Noel Deacon agreed.

He said it was great to give students a real-world experience.

"I think it's good, it gets them out of the classroom - a fairly structured, sometimes false environment - (into the) real world as we call it, and broadens their horizons so they can see what else is out there,” Mr Deacon said.

"Their experience is not as wide as we would like so this gives them an opportunity to get the right experience.”

While some students donned their hard hats, others looked at the business opportunities around town.

Chinchilla State High School Year 11 student Ellie Richards went to the council office in Chinchilla to hear speakers discuss careers in technology and early childhood.

"It was really informative, and it's really great to have that opportunity to know where you want to work, and know what pathways and how to get into them,” Ellie said.

"I spoke to some year 12s of my friends, they're actually quite jealous that they didn't get the opportunity so I think we're really lucky especially to have people from businesses in our local area come and chat to us about opportunities in their areas of work, because often people don't know what's right in front of them.

"Instead of looking to go study or work somewhere outside of our town cause we're not sure what's in here and what we can use here, it was good to learn about what we can do in our local area, so that was really beneficial.”

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