The Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) has launched a new digital campaign to coincide with the start of the annual sugarcane crushing season in Queensland, highlighting the training and apprenticeship opportunities available throughout regional Queensland and the sugar industry’s significant economic and social contributions to the state.
The campaign includes a series of videos and profiles featuring eight apprentices from Queensland sugar mills, including Tully Sugar, Wilmar Sugar’s Victoria Mill (Ingham) and Pioneer Mill (Brandon), Mackay Sugar, and Isis Central Sugar (Bundaberg Region).
ASMC Chief Executive Officer Rachele Sheard said the sugar industry 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.”
Jorja Grabs, a first-year fitter and turner apprentice at Wilmar Sugar’s Pioneer Mill in Brandon, said she was inspired by her older sister who is an electrical apprentice at the factory and is looking forward to playing a role in the upcoming crush season.
“I see this to be a great career opportunity as I have always had an interest in fitting and turning,” she said.
“Something that definitely makes me proud working for the factory is after you have finished your jobs in the workshop, getting to see those put into the factory and just to know that you have helped out to make everything run and for everything to go forward for the crush season.”
Damon Marbelli is a fourth-year electrical apprentice, who decided to apply for an apprenticeship at Wilmar Sugar’s Victoria Mill in Ingham after completing work experience and felt the variety of work on offer would help him become a good tradesman.
“I came here in year 10 for work experience as an electrical apprentice and really liked the workshop,” he says.
“There’s a big variety of work that we get to see here at the factory, from capital jobs to just little maintenance jobs during the season, and it just makes you a better tradesman.”
The Sugar Milling Apprentice campaign will be promoted through social media, industry events and partnerships. 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
Click here for a Pdf of this media release
To follow the campaign as it unfolds click here