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The MetSkill Program — Rapidly Developing Effective Young Engineers in the Workplace

  • Diana Drinkwater
  • Nina Bianco

Abstract

MetSkill is a professional development program for metallurgical engineers that integrates with normal duties in their first one or two years of service. Graduates work together on a structured technical project, facilitated by specialists and supported by formal learning, and ultimately reported to their technical managers. The program enables graduates to “fill the gaps” in their undergraduate education, which is increasingly pertinent as engineering degrees become more general. Participants report that they enjoy the focus on more challenging (rewarding) aspects of their jobs and feel more confident about problem solving. Sponsor companies add that the relationships developed with external technical specialists enhances opportunities for innovation and development. MetSkill was delivered to two major resource companies in Australia in 2012. This paper provides an outline of the program and the reasons for its success, and demonstrates how the learning model could be applied to groups of graduates in other engineering disciplines.

Keywords

Education professional development skills shortage graduate development 

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References

  1. 1.
    G. Lind, “Minerals industry engagement in metallurgical education in Australia”, in XXVI International Mineral Processing Congress (IMPC 2012), New Delhi, India, 1223–1229, September 24–28, 2012.Google Scholar
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    G. C. Sweet et al., “Industry taking the initiative in developing high caliber technical staff”, in Proceedings of XXIII International Mineral Processing Congress, Istanbul, 3–8 September, 2011.Google Scholar
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    E. deGraaff and A. Kolmos, Management of change: Implementation of problem-based and project-based learning in Engineering (Rotterdam, The Nedlands: Sense Publishers, 2007).Google Scholar
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    C. Barker, “Embedding learning from formal training into sustained behavioral change in the workplace”, in National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program Occasional Paper 2011, NCVER: Adelaide.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Drinkwater
    • 1
  • Nina Bianco
    • 2
  1. 1.JKTechIndooroopilyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Innovation in Professional Learning (CIPL)The University of QueenslandAustralia

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