Education Queensland and Industry Partnership (EQIP) is a unique not-for-profit initiative that was formed in 2009 to act as a central management body for the various vocational education training programs across the three State high schools in Gladstone. Prior to the establishment of this initiative, Education Queensland and industry were separately managing, administering and funding over 9 different industry-school partnerships delivering work-ready students in Gladstone.
In 2008, Education Queensland and Rio Tinto Alcan initiated the Clever Recruiting Gladstone Study to identify options that would create efficiencies in governance, management, and public interface of these various programs and allow for the introduction of new programs to align with changing needs. The outcomes of the Clever Recruiting Gladstone Study were:
- An overarching centre was created to represent all major providers and that this be managed by a central coordinator who oversees the new ‘one-stop-shop’.
- The partnership was designed to widen the reach of alternative education opportunities that are available to students from State high schools.
- The new model is led by industry representatives through a board and that long term funding commitments and risk sharing be integral to the operations and sustainability of the various programs.
- Through active participation on the board and individual program advisory committees, local schools, business and industry have input into the foundation programs and influence the skillset the students gain.
EQIP was established in 2009 in response to the Clever Recruiting Study with combined industry and education funding. The programs were condensed to four including EQIP Engineering Skills Centre (EESC) onsite at NRG, EQIP Business and IT Skills Centre (EBITS) onsite at Boyne Smelters (now Business, Industry and Tourism), EQIP Doorways to Civil Construction (ED2CC) onsite at McCosker Contracting, and the EQIP Technical College Gladstone Region (ETCGR).
In 2012, EQIP partnered with ConocoPhillips APLNG, QGC, and Santos GLNG to introduce two new programs: 1) EQIP Process Plant Operations onsite with CQUniversity and Queensland Alumina Limited; and 2) PREQIP program designed for year 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to build confidence and capability and provide a pathway into other EQIP programs.
In 2015 the EQIP Career Development Program was introduced to educate students on the employability skills important for success in the working world and how to demonstrate and develop these through work experience.
In 2016, EQIP expanded its portfolio of programs to include Work Experience and the Gladstone Careers Expo accessible to students from all schools in the Gladstone region.
In 2017, EQIP introduced a new authentic workplace learning in the Health Care and Social Services sector. Students complete a certificate qualification and gain entry-level skills, experience and knowledge with local host employers in the field.
Over the years, EQIP has been recognised for innovation and excellence in our collaborative efforts with education and industry for program design and delivery through various industry and education awards. EQIP has built a strong brand in the local community and is seen as the local leader and one-stop-shop for alternative education opportunities for secondary school students in our Region.