On the cutting edge: timber industry pre-employment program a success

Published by MAXSolutions on November 06, 2022
Generic image of logs in a timber yard

Eight Fraser Coast locals are now enjoying stable employment in the timber industry, and up to 22 more will do the same following the successful implementation of MAX Employment’s new Cutting Edge Timber Program.

Supported by the Local Jobs Program on the Fraser Coast, the MAX pre-employment program is setting a new benchmark for attracting and retaining staff for the timber industry.

The Queensland timber industry contributes $3.8 billion to the state economy and employs 25,000 Queenslanders including thousands in the Wide Bay area.

The Cutting Edge Timber Program connects candidates from MAX Employment and other job providers from around the region with pre-employment screening interviews and medical checks followed by a timber industry focused training program.

During the three-week training course, participants complete a certificate of attainment in FWP20316 Certificate II in Saw Milling and Processing while also familiarising themselves with timber processing mills in the Maryborough area.

The pilot intake has seen local business DTM Timber employ eight locals following the completion of their training, including James. After experiencing unemployment for eight years, participant Josh (pictured) joined MAX and shortly after enrolled in the program. He is now working with DTM and enjoying stable employment for the first time.

For another MAX customer, Louise, employment with DTM signals the start of a new chapter in her life. For the first time she is saving money for a house deposit as she works towards her dream of owning her own home.


“We’re pleased to be working collaboratively with Austin at the Local Jobs Program, the local timber industry and other job providers to give locals sustainable job opportunities and career paths,” says MAX Regional Manager, Aaron Papas. 

“The success of programs like this can be best measured in their impact on the lives and livelihoods of locals, and we’re delighted to see this play out in each of our first-round recruits, including Josh and Louise.


“We’re looking forward to continuing to connect up to 30 suitable candidates with career opportunities in the timber industry,” says Mr Papas. 

timber yard

The combination of customised pre-employment training and input from DTM combine to give the new recruits the best chance of long-term success. Upon completion of the program, participants are either offered employment with DTM or will take away tangible and transferrable skills for wood process operator roles at other local mills which MAX Employment has solid relationships with.

A range of career progression opportunities are available in the timber industry. Up to 30 participants will be given access to the training and employment opportunities during the rollout of the initiative. Workforce Australia customers interested in opportunities in the timber industry are invited to talk to their Job Coach about the MAX Employment Cutting Edge Timber Program.

Places are limited. The next intake of 10 participants will start on 14 November 2022 with applications open for the final intake, expected to start in late January 2023.

The Local Jobs Program (LJP) supports the development and implementation of tailored approaches to accelerate reskilling, upskilling and employment across Australia and seeks to provide tailored responses to support local labour markets.


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