Thirty-eight new apprentices have now started work across our Queensland factories.
Training Superintendent Daniel Shipard said the new first-year apprentices were now working across Wilmar's eight sugar mills and Sarina BioEthanol Distillery, following a two-week safe start program.
He said it was the largest intake of apprentices in many years and reflected the company's long-term commitment to jobs creation and trade training.
“With more of our large-scale manufacturing work being done in-house, we identified a need to maintain and build up the trade skills that exist within our business,” Mr Shipard said.
“We have a strong track record of producing quality tradespeople across the electrical, fitting and turning, boilermaking and diesel fitting disciplines, with our apprentices getting exposure to a wide range of work within our factories.
“We’re particularly proud of our completion rates. More than 90 per cent of our recruits complete their respective apprenticeships, which gives us one of the highest apprenticeship completion rates in Australia.”
This year's intake comprises 21 apprentices for the Burdekin region, six in the Herbert region, five at Proserpine Mill, four at Plane Creek Mill and two at the Sarina BioEthanol Distillery.
Burdekin diesel fitting apprentice Kasey Parison said undertaking an apprenticeship was the best option for her after leaving school because it provided a mix of hands-on learning and TAFE modules.
“For me the best way to learn is by being hands on, so that I can understand and process what’s happening. I’m excited to learn about the mill and the locos, how they work and how to fix them.”
Herbert boilermaking apprentice Dale Cantoni said he was keen to learn about all of the different processes that go into making sugar.
“As a boilermaking apprentice, I’ll be learning about all the different components in the mill. I’ll be doing welding, fabricating, some gouging, thermal cutting, all that type of stuff to produce the final products that go into the mill,” Mr Cantoni said.
“I’ll get to learn from experienced tradesmen so that I can become a good tradesman myself.”
Mr Shipard said Wilmar currently employed 134 apprentices across the business.
He said the Herbert and Burdekin apprentices had recently completed a two-week safe start course at the Burdekin TAFE facility, ahead of starting work at their respective mills.
The Mackay region apprentices commenced work at their sites late last year.
Wilmar has created more than 330 new apprenticeship positions since buying Sucrogen in 2011.