Australasia's home for timber news and information

AKD offers 29 apprenticeships nationally

AKD Tumut payroll officer Janice McDonald, apprentices Dylan Bates and Ethan Gilchrist, maintenance manager David Rosetta, apprentice Jimmy Booby and site manager Warren “Rabs” Green.

This year AKD has 29 new apprenticeship positions being offered nationally, covering fitter and turners, fabricators, electricians, saw technicians and wood machinists. Source: Tumut and Adelong Times

These positions are split across their sites, in Colac (Victoria), Caboolture (Queensland), here in Tumut (four positions) and Yarram Victoria, in Portland (Victoria) and Oberon.

AKD’s apprentice program has continued to grow over the years.

AKD has more than 70 apprentices in training, reflecting approximately one in 15 AKD employees as trade apprentices. This reinforces AKD’s approach to train and develop its people, and to ensure trade-based skills are available for the longer term to support their ongoing sawmilling operations.

“AKD Tumut also continues to invest in its cutting-edge equipment and innovative technology,” AKD Tumut site manager Warren “Rabs” Warren Green said.

“This creates exciting development and training opportunities, not just for trade related jobs, but for all employees operating and supporting the business and community.”

Ethan Gilchrist is a saw technician in the second year of his apprenticeship at AKD Tumut. He appreciates being able to do his apprenticeship in his hometown.

“It’s great seeing your family at the end of the day,” he said.

Jimmy Booby is a fitter and turner at AKD, also in the second year of his apprenticeship and also appreciates working in his hometown.

“It’s not too far to travel to get to work,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of mates I work with.”

He also enjoys the work and learning.

“You learn a heap of new skills and knowledge.”

Dylan Bates is an electrical apprentice at the end of his third year at AKD and he also appreciates being so close to home and the work itself.

“It’s a diverse experience; you’re not pushed into one specific area,” he said.

AKD Tumut maintenance manager David Rosetta said the young local apprentices were really good at their jobs.

“It’s awesome that opportunities are still here for the younger people in the town to get apprenticeships within the mill,” he said.

“These opportunities have been going on for a lot of years and it’s still going. There’s a wide variety of positions going so we would like to see a wide variety of applicants. It’s a real credit to the business that they continue to do this, because not all businesses are doing this anymore.”

Mr Rosetta said it showed the commitment of the businesses to stay in the area after the heavy losses suffered by the timber industry in the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires.

“We are still employing young apprentices,” he said.

“The business is very committed to the area even with the loss of raw product.”

Mr Green said that AKD Tumut also continues to invest in technology.

“We continue upskill and improve our apprentices, and making it safer, and the important thing to me is that we are investing in the community,” he said.

“We have a long-term vision to make sure this town is successful.”