The recruits include apprentice electricians, fitters and turners, spray painters and coppersmiths, who will hone their skills delivering rollingstock manufacturing, overhaul, repair and refurbishment services for Queensland.
Eight women are also among the new starters, many who were recruited through Downer’s work experience program. Downer partners with local schools and TAFE Queensland to run open days and work experience for high school students, showcasing job opportunities and engaging young people in the region.
The apprenticeships include formal studies at TAFE Queensland, and practical on-the-job training by experienced tradespeople.
“Downer is committed to growing a workforce for the future in regional Queensland, supporting local jobs and skills development,” said Tim Young, Executive General Manager, Rollingstock Services.
“We are thrilled to welcome our new apprentices and trainees to Maryborough, where they will play a vital role in our thriving rail manufacturing facility.”
TAFE Queensland General Manager (East Coast region) Ana Rodger said the training provider has been privileged to deliver quality, hands-on training to apprentices at Downer’s Maryborough facility for the last six years, but this is the largest group to commence at any one time.
“TAFE Queensland is proud to work with Downer to fulfil their skills requirements and provide these apprentices with the skills they need to forge a successful career,” Mrs Rodger said.
“There are plenty of exciting opportunities emerging for the local manufacturing industry as a result of recent rail and defence projects, and by employing these apprentices and training them with TAFE Queensland, Downer is not only investing in the development of local skills for the benefit of their own business – they are supporting the future of Maryborough by ensuring it has the resources to be able to seize these kinds of opportunities.”
The 2021 intake brings Downer’s apprentice and trainee numbers to 42 at the Maryborough factory.