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We've welcomed four new apprentices to our Plane Creek and Proserpine sugar mills.

The first-year apprentices are doing a two-week safety induction, prior to starting trade training in their chosen disciplines.

Qynn Andersen and Paul Butz will be based at Plane Creek Mill while Liam Pirlo and Callum Lemke will work at Proserpine Mill.

Callum Lemke, 17, will spend the next four years as an apprentice boilermaker – a goal he’s been working towards throughout his schooling years. 

“I’ve been studying engineering in high school for my whole senior schooling and it sparked my interest in welding and boilermaking,” Mr Lemke said.

“Wilmar is very well known in the area as it’s a farming community, and they care a lot about safety, which is important.”

Mr Lemke said the size of his new workplace had surprised him.

“When you look out from the streets as you drive past, it doesn’t look this big, and then when you get inside it’s massive – heaps of things going on,” Mr Lemke said of Proserpine Mill.

Wilmar Training Superintendent Daniel Shipard said the new apprentices would complete a comprehensive safety induction before commencing their trade training in the workshops.

“The purpose of the two-week program is to prepare the new apprentices for life in the mills,” Mr Shipard said.

“It’s about getting them to understand what they need to do in regards to safety and following procedures.

“We’re very excited to bring on our new apprentices in the Mackay region. They’re going to be a huge asset for our organisation and we can’t wait to see them grow over the next four years of their apprenticeships.”

The apprentices are part of a larger cohort of 25 first-years starting out at Wilmar’s Herbert, Burdekin, Mackay and Proserpine region mills. The apprenticeships are in fitting and turning, boilermaking, electrical and diesel fitting.