A local apprentice boilermaker from Isis Central Sugar Mill is one of the faces of a new digital campaign launched by the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) to highlight the training and apprenticeship opportunities available throughout regional Queensland and the sugar industry’s significant economic and social contributions to the state.
Xavier George is one of eight apprentices from Queensland sugar mills to feature in the campaign, which coincides with the start of the annual sugarcane crushing season in Queensland.
“The Isis Central Sugar Mill is pretty important to the community as it does supply a lot of jobs for first year apprentices and other trades looking for a job here locally,” said Mr George.
“What I want to do in the future is big infrastructure welding, so having this background of fabricating and welding will definitely help me pursue that.
“It’s my dream job, and I definitely recommend putting yourself forward and giving it a go because there are a lot of things you can learn, it’s great fun, the people you will meet are wonderful, and you’ll have some of the best days of your life and meet the best people.”
ASMC Chief Executive Officer Rachele Sheard said the sugar manufacturing sector is the lifeblood of many regional communities along the Queensland coastline, supporting over 19,000 jobs and injecting close to $3.8 billion directly and indirectly into the state economy.
“The sugar manufacturing sector is part of the economic fabric of regional Queensland communities and offers attractive and skilled career pathways,” Ms Sheard said.
“This campaign puts a face to our apprentices and highlights the important role the factories play in providing training and career opportunities, financial security and a great lifestyle in regional Queensland.
The Sugar Milling Apprentice campaign will be promoted through social media, industry events and partnerships, and also profiles apprentices from Tully Sugar, Wilmar Sugar’s Victoria Mill (Ingham) and Pioneer Mill (Brandon), Mackay Sugar, and Isis Central Sugar (Bundaberg Region).
Ms Sheard said she hopes the campaign will help raise awareness of the important role the sugar manufacturing sector plays in Queensland’s economy and inspire more young people to pursue apprenticeships in the industry.
“Having diversified sources of employment and investment has never been more important for our regional communities, who without the agriculture sector, would have been severely impacted during the pandemic.
“Not only do our sugar factories offer rewarding career pathways and financial security to regional Queenslanders and their communities locally, but we are a progressive, future-focused sector that will make a significant contribution to our state’s renewable energy agenda over the next decade.”
Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, endorsed the Sugar Milling Apprenticeship campaign, highlighting the importance of securing the next generation of skilled workers.
“The sugar industry is so important for Australia, and we need the next generation of skilled workers to support it into the future,” he said.
“An apprenticeship in the sugar sector can lead to a rewarding, secure and well-paid job in a vital Australian industry.”
Media contact: Rachele Sheard, Chief Executive Officer, +61 408 777 898
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To follow the campaign as it unfolds click here