Proserpine Mill’s sweet welcome to new apprentices
A first-year boilermaking apprentice says he spent years of his high schooling life engineering a future for himself at the sugar mills.
Callum Lenke said there were many surprises but the size of his new workplace at Proserpine Mill was one he did not expect.
“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.
He will spend the next four years as an apprentice boilermaker at Wilmar’s Proserpine Mill – a goal he has been working towards during his schooling years.
He said studying engineering during high school sparked his interest in welding and boilermaking.
The 17 year old is one of four new apprentices who have begun their training at Wilmar’s Mackay and Proserpine region mills.
“Wilmar is very well known in the area as it’s a farming community, and they care a lot about safety which is important,” he said.
He said he found the workshop at Proserpine Mill to be a different classroom to the high school he graduated from three weeks ago.
Wilmar training superintendent Daniel Shipard said the apprentices were preparing for life in the mills by completing a two-week safety induction before training started.
“It’s about getting them to understand what they need to do in regards to safety and following procedures,” Mr Shipard said.
“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.”
Twenty-five first-year apprentices are starting out at Wilmar’s Herbert, Burdekin, Mackay and Proserpine region mills.
The apprenticeships are in fitting and turning, boilermaking, electrical and diesel fitting.