IN WORK: Diesel fitter Dominic McKeough completed his apprenticeship at Wilmar Sugar's Pioneer Mill and now works at Inkerman Mill in Home Hill.
IN WORK: Diesel fitter Dominic McKeough completed his apprenticeship at Wilmar Sugar's Pioneer Mill and now works at Inkerman Mill in Home Hill. Cameron Laird

High demand for diesel

DEMAND for diesel fitting apprenticeships with Wilmar Sugar has outstripped interest in the electrical trade for the first time.

Learning and development advisor Scott Young said Wilmar Sugar had received more than 250 applications for its 2017 apprenticeship intake, with diesel fitting emerging as the most sought-after trade.

"There is still a healthy interest in electrical apprenticeships, but we've never before received such a high level of applications for the diesel fitting trade,” Mr Young said.

"It's too early to say why we're seeing this trend, but it is probably linked to a downturn in the mining sector which has traditionally provided a good number of diesel fitting apprenticeships.”

Mr Young said Wilmar Sugar had also received an increased number of applicants from the Sarina region where the company operates the Plane Creek Mill and Sarina Distillery.

"We believe this spike may also be related to the decline in apprenticeship opportunities in the mining sector,” he said.

Mr Young said about 85 applicants would be selected to undergo further interviews and testing at Wilmar Sugar's Apprentice Assessment Centre in Home Hill on September 27 and 28.

A total of 28 new apprenticeship positions will be offered across the company's four milling regions, with successful candidates starting work early next year.

Along with the traditional apprenticeship streams, Wilmar Sugar is offering a fitting and machining apprenticeship for the first time.

"It's a new position in recognition of the amount of specialist machining work we have available in our factories,” Mr Young

said.

"It also enables us to increase our organisational capacity in that specialist field.”


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