Sweet start for apprentices

Wilmar apprentices kick start careers

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New Wilmar apprentices Peter Walsh from Charters Towers, Bradley Stevenson from Monavale Station, Hughenden, and Harry Baumgarten from Charters Towers.

New Wilmar apprentices Peter Walsh from Charters Towers, Bradley Stevenson from Monavale Station, Hughenden, and Harry Baumgarten from Charters Towers.

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Thirty young North Queenslanders are kick starting their careers with Australia's largest sugar milling company, Wilmar.

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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 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.

CLASS OF 2020: Meet Wilmar's newest apprentices.
Back, from left: Damon Marbelli, Lucas Sunderland, Ryan Rossington, Nathan Robke, Deklyn Brown, Brent Marshall, Thomas Grossi, Harold Baumgarten, Adam Betteridge, Jack Mellor, Jayke Hawes, Clay Ford, Brenton Fontaine, Braydon Cotter, Peter Walsh and Chris McKeough. Front, from left: Mitchell McLeod, Jaidyn McIntosh, Connor Hancock, James Shand, Liam Cannavan, Riley Elton, Christo Wessels, Shenikah Grabs, Brad Stevenson, Ben Brotto, Clay Smith, Morgan Chrzanowski, Jordan Siganto and Liam Bailey.

CLASS OF 2020: Meet Wilmar's newest apprentices. Back, from left: Damon Marbelli, Lucas Sunderland, Ryan Rossington, Nathan Robke, Deklyn Brown, Brent Marshall, Thomas Grossi, Harold Baumgarten, Adam Betteridge, Jack Mellor, Jayke Hawes, Clay Ford, Brenton Fontaine, Braydon Cotter, Peter Walsh and Chris McKeough. Front, from left: Mitchell McLeod, Jaidyn McIntosh, Connor Hancock, James Shand, Liam Cannavan, Riley Elton, Christo Wessels, Shenikah Grabs, Brad Stevenson, Ben Brotto, Clay Smith, Morgan Chrzanowski, Jordan Siganto and Liam Bailey.

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 is 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.

Wilmar Training Superintendent Daniel Shipard with Herbert apprentice Jayke
Hawes at one of the induction sessions.

Wilmar Training Superintendent Daniel Shipard with Herbert apprentice Jayke Hawes at one of the induction sessions.

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."

Herbert apprentice Damon Marbelli and Burdekin apprentice Shenikah Grabs with
Wilmar Training Superintendent Daniel Shipard.

Herbert apprentice Damon Marbelli and Burdekin apprentice Shenikah Grabs with Wilmar Training Superintendent Daniel Shipard.

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.

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