EXCLUSIVE: Biggest ever apprentice intake at M'boro factory

A MAJOR recruitment drive at one of Maryborough's biggest employers has begun.

The Chronicle can exclusively reveal Downer will seek 12 new apprentices as part of its 2020 intake at its Heritage City factory.

Tim Young, Executive General Manager of Downer's Rollingstock Services, said it was the largest ever intake at the Maryborough site.

He said the investment in the future workforce would help sustain Downer's capability in regional Queensland, where it had been operating for 150 years.

"We're dedicated to supporting local industry and committed to the long-term future of our facility," Mr Young said.

"With recent contract awards including the QNGR Accessibility Variation Program and overhaul contracts with Queensland Rail, it is essential we sustainably grow our workforce to meet current and future needs.

"These new apprentices will equip our business with much-needed skills, while at the same time supporting education and skills development in regional Queensland."

The 12 fixed-term apprenticeships include formal studies at Tafe, and practical on-the-job training by experienced tradespeople.

Andrew Slawson, General Manager for Downer's Maryborough Facility, said it was an "exciting opportunity" to learn valuable skills.

"Downer provides a highly supportive team environment and dedicated Zero Harm safety culture, and we're looking forward to having our new apprentices on board," Mr Slawson said.

With the youth unemployment rate in the region sitting at a staggering 18.1 per cent, as of May with this year, member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the Downer drive was welcome.

He said it was the start of rebuilding Maryborough.

"This is the commitment from Downer and the government," Mr Saunder said.

"Working together, this is the way we are headed."

Applications for the roles close Sunday September 15, 2019.

For more information or to apply go to careers.downergroup.com/cw/en/job/562638/apprentice-qld-maryborough.