THIRTY young North Queenslanders are getting a head start in their careers after being signed on as new apprentices for Wilmar Sugar Australia.
The first-year apprentices will learn their trades at Wilmar's eight North Queensland sugar mills and bioethanol distillery.
Seventeen of the new apprentices will be based in the Burdekin where Wilmar owns and operates four sugar mills.
Five of them will work at Wilmar's Herbert mills, four at Proserpine Mill, three at Plane Creek and one at Wilmar's Sarina BioEthanol Distillery.
This year's intake includes apprentice electricians, boilermakers, fitter and turners, and diesel fitters.
Training Superintendent Daniel Shipard said the new recruits would join 93 apprentices already employed across Wilmar's Queensland operations.
"Wilmar is one of the largest providers of apprenticeship opportunities in Queensland, with about 120 apprentices working at our sites at any one time," Mr Shipard said.
"We're very proud of the quality of our trade training and the fact that we have a completion rate of 95 per cent, which is well above the industry average."
Among the intake are Charters Towers locals Peter Walsh and Harry Baumgarten, who will work at the Pioneer Mill as a diesel fitter and at the Sarina BioEthanol Distillery as a boilermaker respectively.
Hughenden's Bradley Stevenson will work at the Pioneer Mill as a diesel fitter.
First-year Herbert fitting and turning apprentice Jayke Hawes said he was looking forward to the hands-on learning his new job would provide.
"I chose Wilmar because it's a good company to get into and you're not doing the same thing every day," he said.
"With fitting and turning, you've got pumps, turbines, roller grooving, grease lines... There are a lot of different aspects to the trade and you get to do a lot of different things.
"Working for Wilmar is exciting because you don't know what's going to come the next day."
Mr Shipard said the new apprentices had completed two weeks of safety training in the Burdekin before starting work at their respective sites this week.
"An apprenticeship with Wilmar means you'll be properly trained in safe work practices, you'll be involved in multi-million dollar projects, and you'll get to work closely with other trade disciplines to achieve results," Mr Shipard said.