Pre-pandemic activities: Rookies visit local Sawmill

Prior to lock downs and social distancing practises coming into effect, our Sunshine Coast Rookies visited the AKD Sawmill for a tour and to meet the team. The Industry curriculum at the AITC involves students completing work placements in the industries of their choice, however, before students begin work, they will complete the 10 week Rookies Program. The Rookies Program was designed to prepare all new students, regardless of year level, for the unique program offered at the AITC. The College is committed to ensuring young people are prepared to enter their work placements, benefitting both the students and their employers.

“The excursion to the Sawmill was really well run by the team, they had a tour planned out for us, there were lots of chances to ask questions, and even activities for the young people to complete,” said team leader Luke Taber. “After we left, many of the young people expressed interest in pursuing a career in the industry, and they also said it wasn’t something they had considered before visiting the mill.”

The excursion included a tour through all parts of the Sawmill, which allowed the students to see every stage of the milling process. The tour guides aligned each part of the process with a different career pathway, including innovation, workplace health and safety, engineering, management, design, fitting & turning, boiler operators, saw doctors, and project management.

AKD have a specific interest in conducting business in a way that is environmentally friendly and that benefits the community. “The facility manager explained and showed the young people how they operate while producing very little waste, export sawdust, and where they have built sound proofing, screens, and filters into the warehouse so the community isn’t impacted by the smells and sounds of the mill,” said Luke.

“The team at AKD gave out a list of contacts for the Sawmill, so the young people can see all the departments they could potentially work in, and who to contact. It was great!” said Melanie Snow, Personal Development Coach.

“The AKD personnel, who conducted the tour, explained to the young people what a normal work day would look like, and even took the young people to the more secure areas that you wouldn’t usually be able to access,” said Luke. “It was a great tour, we are really grateful to the team at AKD who put on a really great day for the young people. It was educational and interesting, and the young people really enjoyed it.

“The quality manager gave the young people a set amount of equipment, which included different sized pieces of wood, duct tape, and cable ties, and they were given a brief and instructed them to create the strongest product they could in the time given. The winner was determined by pressure testing the creations the young people came up with,” said Luke. When social distancing and lockdown measures are lifted, the AKD team will visit campus to present awards to the winners.