By Jocelyn Watts
With his sight firmly set on a career in electrical engineering, Frank Kounellis was one of a number of people who enquired about USQ Fraser Coast’s newest programs at the university’s Information Day on Sunday, June 2.
The St James Lutheran College captain is currently in Year 11 but he is so keen on enrolling in USQ’s new Associate Degree of Engineering program being offered for the first time next year, he will apply for USQ’s Head Start program in 2014, enabling him to start university while still at high school.
“I’m really looking forward to doing this course, beginning with Head Start next year,” Frank said. “Electrical engineering is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and it’s fantastic now that I can start my studies here on the Fraser Coast.”
USQ Fraser Coast Campus Executive Manager Brett Langabeer said attendance at Sunday’s event was up on the previous Information Day in January with almost 100 prospective students receiving information on USQ programs.
“Enquiries were genuine in all areas of study and in particular it was good to see the interest for engineering and construction, which is a promising sign for our new programs in 2014.”
Mr Langabeer said that with multi-million dollar building projects already underway on the Fraser Coast, students enrolling in USQ Fraser Coast’s new programs stand good chances of finding employment locally.
“Just three biggest projects alone are worth $227.5 million – Stockland Shopping Centre ($115 million), St Stephen’s Hospital ($87.5 million) and Station Square Shopping Centre ($25 million),” he said. “Plus, there are a number of other building and road work projects either started or in the approval process that will provide good work opportunities for many years to come.”
Mayor Gerard O’Connell said there are a growing number of employment opportunities in the engineering and construction fields across the Fraser Coast with a number of high profile developments already underway.
“It’s a very exciting time for the entire region,” Mr O’Connell said.
“Multi-million dollar projects including the St Stephen’s Hospital redevelopment and Stockland expansion are already underway and will create hundreds of jobs in the short and long term.
“In addition, council infrastructure projects including the Building Better Regional Cities program and Aquatic Centre revamps are in full swing.
“These projects are helping our region move forward and can provide the perfect training ground for engineering students to gain practical on-the-job experience.
“Engineering and construction students often find paid employment in their chosen fields while studying, which can enhance their tertiary experience and dramatically increase their prospects when they graduate.
“As Mayor, I’m extremely happy the Fraser Coast can now play a significant part in this process thanks to USQ Fraser Coast’s new engineering and construction programs being available from 2014.”
USQ’s new flexible delivery programs – Associate Degree of Engineering and Associate Degree of Construction (Civil) – are being officially launched at the Fraser Coast campus tonight, Monday, June 3.
Contact USQ Fraser Coast for further information on the programs on 4194 3133, Freecall: 1800 007 252, or log in to http://www.usq.edu.au.
Feature photo: Dean Rockemer (left) of Maryborough talks with USQ Engineering and Surveying administration coordinator Raylene Jones about civil engineering, watched by Gretchen White.Photos: JOCELYN WATTS